President Trump got a terrific bill of health from his doctor after his examination last Friday.
His heart is healthy. His cognitive abilities are top-notch. His doctor said there was no basis in claims he was repeating things or slurring his words. And despite the need for an exercise program and changes to his diet, the president is fit – mentally and physically – to serve not only the balance of this term, but another full term should he win re-election, his doctor said.
The diagnosis seemingly difficult to discredit, mainstream media has turned its attacks on the doctor who examined Trump – Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.
According to Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, Jackson “was so effusive in extolling the totally amazing, surpassingly marvelous, superbly stupendous and extremely awesome health of the president that the doctor sounded almost Trumpian.
“‘The president’s overall health is excellent,’ he said, repeating ‘excellent’ eight times: ‘Hands down, there’s no question that he is in the excellent range … I put out in the statement that the president’s health is excellent, because his overall health is excellent … Overall, he has very, very good health. Excellent health.”
The doctor systematically destroyed the argument laid out in Michael Wolff’s book “Fire and Fury,” which portrays the president as impulsive, ignorant, delusional, with a loss of cognitive skills that left him unable to focus, remember what he had said moments earlier or speak without slurring.
The doctor said he saw none of that. The president, he said, not only passed a cognitive test – getting all 30 questions right – he passed the “longer, more difficult version” and even taking the test was “not driven by clinical concerns.”
There was “no indication” Trump had any cognitive issues, and the president is “very articulate when he speaks to me.” He even said it was “impressive” the way Trump “has a lot of energy and a lot of stamina” and is “very sharp.”
It made those assembled in the White House press room furious Trump was not deathly ill or certifiably crazy. They responded by bombarding the doctor with questions designed to deny his claim.
“I’m wondering if you talked to the president about … the president’s mental fitness,” one reporter asked. “Can you assess the president’s mental fitness for office?”
“Do you believe the president is fit for duty?” asked another.
“Does the president wear dentures?” asked still another.
“Could you just elaborate, in layman’s terms if possible, what you ruled out in these cognitive tests? You know, there have been reports that the president has forgotten names, that he is repeating himself. Are you ruling out things like early-onset Alzheimer’s? Are you looking at dementia-like symptoms?”
“Does he watch too much TV?” asked another.
Still another asked whether the doctor told Trump about President Obama’s exercise routine and how he could follow his predecessor’s example to be as fit as Obama — a smoker — was.
Jackson politely took on each question, which seemed to make Milbank even angrier.
“Jackson has been a well-regarded doctor,” Milbank wrote. “But since finding himself in Trump’s orbit, he has adopted the hyperbolic style and excessive flattery of the boss that we see in other, previously respectable members of Trump’s court.”
He even turned to Bandy Lee, the unlicensed Yale University psychologist who has diagnosed Trump from afar, determined him to be mentally ill, then told rapturous Democratic members of Congress of her findings in hushed briefings. She said Jackson’s test was not the right one to determine what she fears is wrong with Trump.
She said the test tells us little about the “worrisome traits President Trump exhibits – disordered decision-making, an insatiable need for affirmation, little impulse control, confusion about facts, difficulty foreseeing consequences.”
This explains the sycophancy they see in everyone close to Trump, Milbank said.
“’Those close to him are sensing this level of appeasement is necessary,’ Lee speculated. They ‘feel they need to step in as a way to diminish his volatility and rage.’”