The White House’s official doctor has recommended US President Donald Trump adjust his diet and lose weight. White House physician Ronny Jackson fronted the press to detail results of his recent examination of the president, which he said proved Mr Trump was in “excellent health”.
After a four hour physical assessment and cognitive test, which Mr Trump himself demanded, Dr Jackson recommended the president “lose a few pounds”, but concluded he had “incredibly good genes”. The series of tests showed the president had high cholesterol, which he already takes regular medication for, but otherwise showed his “overall health is excellent”.
“Based on his cardiac assessment, hands down, he’s in the excellent range,” Dr Jackson said.“He would benefit from a diet that is low in fat and carbohydrates … and a recommend exercise program in order to reduce his cholesterol.” Though repeating that the president was in “excellent health”, Dr Jackson admitted his cholesterol levels were too high and that he was “borderline obese” when asked.
When questioned how a 71-year-old man, documented to regularly feast on McDonald’s and guzzle Diet Cokes could be considered in excellent health, Dr Jackson said: “It’s called genetics.” “Some people just have great genes. I told the president if he had a better diet, he could have lived to be 200 maybe,” Dr Jackson said. “He had incredibly good genes and that’s just the way God made him.”
Dr Jackson attributed a lot of Mr Trump’s health issues to luck, also highlighting he is “one of those people that just doesn’t need a lot of sleep”. “I guess that’s one of the reasons he’s been so successful,” Dr Jackson added. The physical assessment is routine for nation’s leader to undertake, and Dr Jackson said Mr Trump was as good a patient as any other former president he had dealt with. But unlike his predecessors, Mr Trump also demanded a cognitive test, partly to put to rest some public concerns around his mental ability.
The examination took place last Friday towards the end of a week in which the President’s mental fitness for the job had come under intense scrutiny after a controversial book, Fire and Fury: Inside the White House, portrayed him as childlike. “This has been the narrative for a while, I think he saw the physical as an opportunity to put some of that to rest,” Dr Jackson said. “He actively asked me to include that in so we did.” Dr Jackson said he had initially not intended to give Mr Trump a cognitive exam.
“I’ve spent almost every day in the president’s presence. I see him sometimes three times a day and we have conversations about many, many things,” Dr Jackson said. “I’ve got to know him pretty well and I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability.” Dr Jackson said Trump had undertaken the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a “well respected test that is used throughout the US”. He had scored 30/30, which Dr Jackson said ruled out any need for further cognitive testing.
Dr Jackson said his patient had “great findings across the board”, and particularly praised Mr Trump’s “incredible” cardiac fitness. The physician attributed the President’s good health, for his age, to a lifetime of abstinence from alcohol and tobacco. “He’s fit for duty. I think he will remain fit for duty of the remainder of this term, and even another term if he is elected,” he said.
Dr Jackson said he would have a nutrition specialist work with the White House kitchen, whereas encouraging exercise was “something that myself and potentially Mrs Trump will work with him”. Asked how he thought Mr Trump would co-operate, Dr Jackson said his patient sometimes needed convincing to take his advice, but overall was “a good patient”. Dr Jackson answered questions from the press for more than 50 minutes, confirming that Mr Trump had instructed him to come out and put to rest rumours about his fitness to be resident.