President Trump underwent his first physical exam in office at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 12.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The results of this doctor’s appointment is of global interest. The high-profile patient? President Donald J. Trump.
The 71-year-old president went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Friday to undergo his first physical exam in office. Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, performed the assessment.
“The president’s physical exam today at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center went exceptionally well,” Jackson said following the examination.
“The president is in excellent health and I look forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday,” he continued.
The physical came just one week after Trump slammed Michael Wolff’s White House exposé, “Fire and Fury,” which raised questions about the president’s mental health and fitness to run the Oval Office. The president said he considered the book a “work of fiction,” adding that Wolff’s purported hours-long interviews with him never took place.
“Ran for president one time and won. And then I hear this guy who doesn’t know me at all, didn’t interview me for three hours, his imagination,” Trump told reporters at Camp David, a day after the book was officially released.
When it comes to his health, Trump has always been quick to defend himself.
“….Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump tweeted on Jan. 6.
During his campaign for president in December 2015, Trump released a letter from his longtime personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, predicting he would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to presidency.” Now the nation is eager to find out whether or not that declaration holds true.
Here’s what you need to know about Trump’s first physical as commander-in-chief.
Is Trump required to have an annual physical?
No, the president has no legal obligation to have a physical exam. It’s completely voluntary. In fact, the president isn’t even required to disclose any of his health information. He can pick and choose what’s released to the public.
Will Trump’s physical exam results be released?
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed to reporters in December that the presidential physical would be made public after Trump appeared to slur several words while addressing the nation on his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“The president’s throat was dry — nothing more than that,” Sanders told reporters on Dec. 7, a day after Trump’s speech.
If so, when?
Jackson is expected to release intitial test results during a press briefing, where he will take questions, on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
What does the exam entail?
Results from previous presidential physicals listed information such as height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol levels among other basic data.
So, it’s safe to assume we can expect to see similar information from Trump’s test results. Trump’s physical will not include a psychiatric test, a White House spokesman said.
The summary of former President Barack Obama’s last presidential physical, which was also conducted by Jackson in February 2016, was two pages long. It detailed Obama’s overall health, providing vital statistics, results from the physical exam of the former president’s vital organ systems, lab results and other studies. Jackson also listed medications Obama was taking at the time including Vitamin D, Nexium, nicotine gum and Malarone.
Why does it matter?
At least 30 percent of U.S. presidents have suffered from “significant illnesses” while in the White House, according to a 2002 report from the Journal of Medicine. The academic research notes Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart troubles, former President Woodrow Wilson’s stroke and former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s congestive heart failure.
What we know about Trump’s health
Trump’s health has been a hot topic of discussion both before and after he took office. Bornstein released several letters summarizing Trump’s health status during the 2016 presidential race.
In the first report, made public on Trump’s campaign website, Bornstein confirmed Trump is “in excellent physical health.”
The physician described Trump as 6’3”, weighing 236 pounds, adding he had only been hospitalized once at the age of 11 for an appendectomy.
Bornstein provided Trump’s cholesterol, blood pressure, calcium range, testosterone and PSA level. Trump’s latest liver function and thyroid tests, colonoscopy, EKG and chest X-ray were “normal,” Bornstein wrote.
“He takes a lipid lowering agent (rosuvastatin) and a low dose aspirin,” Bornstein wrote in the report. “He does not use tobacco products or alcohol.”
Trump sat down to discuss the medical records on the “Dr. Oz Show,” saying he has a tremendous amount of stamina, despite being the oldest president to enter the Oval Office.
“I would say just based on my life…I feel as good today as I did when I was thirty,” Trump told Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Sept. 2016 interview.
Bornstein later spoke with The New York Times, telling the newspaper Trump takes a prostate drug marketed to promote hair growth.
“He has all his hair,” Bornstein, who has been Trump’s personal physician since the 1980s, told the Times.
Bornstein also said Trump takes an antibiotic to control rosacea, a common skin condition that causes redness and dilated blood vessels, and a statin for elevated blood cholesterol and lipids.