President Donald Trump had his physical exam today. The Press Secretary told us that he was in “excellent health.” The results will be in next week.
Actually, to be more precise “some of the details” will be in next week.
That could be because some test results are still pending (although most bloodwork will be avilable same day) or it could be because the President, like any patient, gets to decide what makes it out of his medical record and into the public domain and what does not.
We knew very little about candidate Trump’s health going into the election. Initially we learned he had a normal blood pressure, a low PSA (prostatic specific antigen), and he was taking a “low dose” of a cholesterol medication as well as 81 mg aspirin. I did find it odd that the dose of aspirin was spelled out but not the reportedly “low dose” of the statin. I mean if it were low why not be specific?
Later on we found out, as I predicted, that Trump was on Propecia for male pattern baldness (it can lower the PSA) and an antibiotic for rosacea.
We learned via that side-show hosted by Dr. Oz that Trump had some additional blood work performed after everyone started asking about his health. We never learned why this was necessary if he were the healthiest man alive. We also never learned why Trump had an echo if he was so astonishingly healthy, his dose of rosuvastatin, or why he needed his testosterone level checked? Testosterone levels should only be checked if there are signs and symptoms of hypogonadism, such as loss of body hair, sexual dysfunction, hot flashes, or gynecomastia (enlarged breasts).
Then again there was nothing for Oz to sell so he was less enthusiastic than usual.
I seriously doubt we will get anything new information wise regarding Trump’s health than what we received from Dr. Bornstein pre-election. This will not due to any bias of on the part of Dr. Ronny Jackson, who is physician to the White House. He has an excellent reputation and is not a Trump appointee as he has been White House physician since July 2013. We know what type of exam Dr. Jackson will perform and the testing by looking at Dr. Jackson’s last exam of President Obama in 2016.
The key statement for me is the “consent.” Trump will only release what he wants released. Anything we don’t already know will only be released if it is flattering. So we will hear about Trump’s (likely) normal blood pressure, his low PSA, his (likely) normal oxygen saturation and maybe about his resting heart rate. We will likely get his cholesterol and blood sugar levels if unchanged. If Trump’s BMI isn’t 29.5 (as reported by Bornstein in September, 2016) I doubt we will hear about his weight. We may find out if he has had a flu vaccine.
I doubt there will be anything more than a cursory mental status exam, the old “alert and oriented X 3” will be it if there is any mental status evaluation at all. I know many people question Trump’s mental health, but there is no test for medical incompetence for the Presidency. He is mentally fit to sign a medical consent form. Detailed neurospychiatric testing is required to look for early signs of dementia and a general physican cannot perform that tetsing.
Personally, I don’t believe we need a psychiatrist to tell us Trump isn’t competent to be President. His racism and complete lack of understanding of governmental affairs tell us that. Competence doesn’t have to be mental competence, after all I’m not competent to fly an airplane.
Can Trump be in excellent health? We never see him exercising or eating anything healthy, not even accidentally. As far as I know there is no definition of “excellent” health. If his blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, blood sugar, and EKG are all normal then he is in pretty good physical health for his age. Keep in mind that a lot of longevity is genetics and not smoking.
When the results are released all anyone has to do is compare Trump’s report side by side with President Obama’s last exam. Trump is 17 years old than Obama was at his last physical so he should have at least as thorough an exam and testing. If there is less information in Trump’s report versus Obama’s from 2016 my guess is that will be because the results are abnormal.
If there is a news conference I do hope the reporters have Obama’s last physical on hand for a handy refernce.