WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday again bragged about the results of a cognitive test he took, saying he has “a good memory” and is “cognitively there.”
In an interview with Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel, Trump was asked about the test and former Vice President Joe Biden’s mental fitness.
The president, 74, said that the first questions were “very easy” and the end of the test was “much more difficult.”
“Like a memory question," Trump recounted. "It's like you'll go: Person, woman, man, camera, TV. So they say, ‘Could you repeat that?' So I said, ‘Yeah. So it's person, woman, man, camera, TV.’ ‘Okay, that's very good. If you get it in order you get extra points.’”
Trump then said that about 10 to 20 minutes later, he was asked to remember the answer to that earlier question.
“You go, 'person, woman, man, camera, TV,'” he said. “They say, ‘That's amazing. How did you do that?’ I have, like, a good memory ... I’m cognitively there.”
“Joe should take that test because something's going on, and I say this with respect,” the president said about, Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, who is 77.
Trump emphasized that whoever serves as president must have “good health” because it’s a “very important job, to put it mildly," adding, “You need stamina, you need physical health and you need mental health.”
The president was unclear during the interview when exactly he took the test, first saying it was the last time he was at the hospital “probably a year ago or less than a year ago,” and he asked the doctor if there was a cognitive test he could take. A minute later, he said he had asked Dr. Ronny Jackson if there was an acuity test he could take. Jackson, however, has not served as the physician to the president since spring of 2018. That year, Jackson said that Trump insisted on taking the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and “passed it with flying colors.”
The last time Trump visited Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, other than to meet with wounded service members, was last November when he made an unscheduled trip to the facility, which he said was to “begin portions of his routine annual physical exam.” Questions have been raised about the president’s health since the visit. The White House released a summary of the president's physical examination last month, which went into basic health metrics but not cognitive testing.
Trump’s comments Wednesday came just a few days after he boasted about his performance on the cognitive test in an interview with Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." He claimed Biden wouldn’t be able to pass the test and said he was sure Wallace wouldn’t be able to answer its last questions.
Coronavirus testing 'overrated'
During the interview on Wednesday, Trump also continued to push back on coronavirus testing, saying he personally thinks “it’s overrated” but he’s willing to continue doing it.
Trump has repeatedly blamed more coronavirus testing for spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. While there is some indication that expanded testing is catching more cases, public health experts have said the surges are due to states' reopening and people relaxing social distancing protocols. A more useful metric, they say, is the rate of positive tests.
In the interview, Trump also said in defense of reopening schools that children’s immune systems are “a lot stronger” than those of adults and said, for kids, the virus “just doesn’t have an impact.”
Although statistics show children appear to handle COVID-19 better than adults and the elderly, some have also developed a dangerous and deadly inflammatory condition. While experts say there are significant social benefits to resuming in-person classes, they caution that schools will need to balance those against potential risks to provide a safe learning environment for students.