President Trump passed his second full physical exam on Friday. In the evening, the 72-year-old's personal physician – Dr. Sean Conley – issued a statement that a team of 11 doctors had examined Trump. But he does not include any details on their findings, claiming only that Trump was "in very good health". In an unusual move, he also predicted the future of the next two years stating that he expects the commander-in-chief to remain in good health. "For the rest of his presidency and beyond."
The results echoed last year's review, when Dr. Ronny Jackson, then a White House doctor, told the president in an "excellent" physical and cognitive state. This physique attracted an unusual degree of scrutiny with questions about Trump's mental health and fitness at work. In a first, Trump had asked for a cognitive examination – apparently a response to Democratic members of Congress who had revived the discussion on the 25th Amendment, a process likely to dismiss a president unfit to govern.
But again, this physique has not revealed anything new about the health of the president.
And we should not expect this year's review either: The presidential physical examination is best understood as a political theater – a demonstration of the president's vigor and physical form – and not an opportunity to reveal new medical information. Here's what you need to know about the second review.
What's a presidential physical exam?
Trump's physical activity was conducted this year by Dr. Sean Conley, a Navy officer who succeeded Ronny Jackson last year. It lasted four hours and was held at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington.
A brief statement of Conley's findings was released late Friday. Conley said the results were still being finalized, but it was unclear if more details would come out in the next few days.
Prior to Conley, Jackson had served in three administrations – that of George W. Bush, Obama, and Trump – and had left office in 2018 when the president had appointed him to the position of Secretary for Alumni Affairs. fighters. He subsequently withdrew his candidacy after being involved in a number of scandals, including allegations of excessive alcohol consumption at work and over-prescription of drugs to White House staff. (The New York Times reports that he has returned to the White House Medical Unit as assistant to the President and Chief Medical Advisor of the White House.)
In addition to the scandals, White House doctors look quite like a man of Trump's age: elementary laboratory tests (cholesterol, hormone tests) and vitamin levels), screening tests for age-related diseases (such as cancer or heart disease), as well as many other health assessments, such as blood pressure control, eyes, ears and throat.
However, presidential physics does not usually include a mental health assessment, and it is unclear whether Conley made another cognitive assessment on Friday.
What we know about Trump's physical health and habits
As for his tax records, the Trump candidate never published his medical records. So, what we knew about his health, until last year's physical results were announced, was mostly gleaned from media reports and questionable notes written by his colorful doctor, Harold Bornstein.
Jackson reported in 2018 that Trump was in excellent health. He had excellent heart health, according to a cardiac evaluation that he had undergone, and his blood pressure was at 122/74, which is in the normal range. Trump's PSA was very low, which means he has no prostate problems. His total cholesterol was 223 and his LDL (or "bad" cholesterol) was 143, which is very high. Trump's 20/30 vision was very good for his age.
Jackson also repeated that we already knew Trump. For example, he does not drink alcohol, smoke and sleep about four to five hours a night. The president takes a range of fairly standard drugs for his age, including Ambien to help him sleep when he travels abroad; Crestor, a statin that reduces cholesterol; a low dose of aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease; antibiotics to control rosacea; and Propecia for baldness.
Jackson's main health problem was Trump's weight. Trump measures 6 feet 3 inches and weighs 239 pounds – a pound less obese, according to body mass index.
Jackson had suggested to Trump to try to lose a few pounds and do more exercise. But, as CNN reported, Trump did not follow his doctor's instructions. "The president received a diet and exercise program last year after his annual physical check-up, but the president admits that he did not follow it religiously," he said. to CNN Hogan Gidley, Senior White House Press Secretary.
The news agency also said Trump probably did not use the White House gym and was preparing to do the exercises by walking between the White House buildings and playing golf. This lack of training can be explained by Trump's extraordinary beliefs about exercise. Evan Osnos wrote in a New York article about how Trump could be removed from the presidency in a realistic way: "Besides golf, he considers the exercise as misguided, claiming that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy. "
Finally, we know that Trump favors fast food because he thinks it's cleaner and safer than other foods. According to a new book by his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and his former senior advisor, David Bossie, Let Trump Be TrumpTrump had a prodigious appetite and ate two Big Mac, two Fillet-O-Fish and a malty chocolate in one session, the Washington Post reported.
Long questions about Trump's mental health
As for Trump's mental health, he scored a perfect 30/30 on the cognitive balance sheet of Montreal last year. The Montreal Assessment is a standard test of cognitive ability and should exclude obvious neurological impairment.
Yet even when Trump was just a candidate, mental health professionals speculated on his fate. psychology and mental health – in the Atlantic cover stories, in Vanity Fair and on Twitter. There has been talk of him presenting the personality trait of narcissism and signs of mental disorder.
Once he was elected president and his behavior became a national security issue, the discussion intensified considerably.
A group of 27 mental health professionals wrote a book entitled The dangerous case of Donald Trump, which offered the point of view that "Trump's mental state represents a clear and present danger to our nation and our individual well-being. Yale's psychiatrist, Bandy Lee, who published this book, recently told Vox that she had advised Congress about the need for an emergency psychiatric assessment because of the threat the president poses to public health. .
Richard Friedman, professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the psychopharmacology clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, said in the 2018 Washington Post that we did not even need to test Trump's mental health because we already have enough evidence of his incapacity.
"The tests would not be conclusive, should not be grounds for disqualification of someone to the presidency and would not tell us anything we do not already know," he wrote, adding that " the most accurate measurement of a person's physical condition, whether mental or physical, is an observable function in the real world – not the results of a fancy test or opinion From an expert, the fact is that Americans already have all the data needed to judge Trump's fitness. "
We may never know the truth about Trump's health
As expected, Jackson's report on the presidential physics in 2018 revealed only a few trivial details about Trump, like the fact that he had gained a few pounds since entering the White House.
But even though Conley Friday reveals something important about Trump's health, it's unlikely we'll hear about it. This is because Trump has the same rights as other Americans in protecting the privacy of patients. Neither the president nor his physician is required to share complete or detailed medical records.
Presidents and presidential candidates have also had a historically fragile relationship with the truth regarding their health. Hiding the medical history of a president is pretty much the norm.
Jacob Appel, an assistant professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine who studies the candidates' medical history, told Vox that in 2018 he was confident that the public would not know if a president or presidential candidate was really sick "until history makes its verdict in several years. "
If Trump did have a more complex cognitive function test, we probably would not know the results.
In retrospect, we now know a number of former presidents and presidential candidates who were actually much more ill in power than the public knew. The FDR paralysis was concealed from public opinion, as was Woodrow Wilson's 1919 attack, which rendered him incapable. "His wife and his senior advisers ran the country while he was indisposed for several months," Appel said. "The audience was totally unconscious."
This is why Appel believes it is unfair for many members of the media to question Trump's health, while suggesting that the former presidents were in perfect health. "The reality is that many presidents have been extremely unhealthy even at the door of death."