Wednesday December 12th, 2018 2:30AM

Trump's first medical checkup as president set for Friday

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will be the patient, not the commander in chief offering comfort, when he visits the Walter Reed military hospital on Friday.

Trump is headed to the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for his first medical checkup as president. But what has been a fairly routine exam for previous officeholders has taken on outsized importance in the age of Trump, given the tone of some of his tweets, comments attributed to some of his close advisers and Trump's recent slurring of words on national TV.

Some of the comments were published in a new book about Trump's first year, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denounced as "complete fantasy" for portraying her 71-year-old boss as undisciplined and in over his head as president.

Trump himself has pushed back hard against any suggestion that he's mentally unfit, declaring himself "a very stable genius."

Some questions and answers about Trump's physical:


The exam, lasting several hours, will measure things like Trump's blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate and weight.

Conclusions about his mental acuity aren't expected. The White House said Trump will not undergo a psychiatric exam. Officials did not address a different type of screening: assessments of cognitive status that examine neurologic functions including memory. Cognitive assessments aren't routine in standard physicals, though they recently became covered in Medicare's annual wellness visits for seniors.


No, but modern presidents typically undergo them regularly and release a doctor's report declaring they are "fit for duty."


Two months before the November 2016 election, Trump released a five-paragraph letter from his longtime physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, who concluded that Trump "is in excellent physical health." A year earlier, Bornstein said in a December 2015 letter: "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."

The 2016 letter put Trump's blood pressure and cholesterol measurements in the healthy range, though he uses a cholesterol-lowering statin medication. His EKG, chest X-ray, echocardiogram and blood sugar were normal. The 6-foot-3 Trump weighed 236 pounds, and his body mass index, or BMI, of 29.5 put him in the category of being overweight for his height.

Trump takes Crestor for his cholesterol, a low-dose aspirin for heart attack prevention, Propecia to treat male-pattern baldness and antibiotics for rosacea. The doctor's 2016 letter stated that Trump's testosterone level, 441.6, was in the normal range, as were his PSA reading for prostate abnormalities and tests of his liver and thyroid.

Trump was 70 when he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, making him the oldest person ever elected to the nation's highest office.


He leads a largely sedentary lifestyle compared to his most recent predecessors, and has said he gets most of his exercise playing golf.

The American Heart Association says that the best types of exercise increase the heart rate and make a person breathe heavily, but that activities like golf don't provide as much cardiovascular benefit since they don't require much extra effort. The association suggests players walk the golf course instead of renting a golf cart. Trump drives a cart from hole to hole.

President Barack Obama played basketball, lifted weights, worked out on an elliptical machine or treadmill and played golf. George W. Bush traded running for mountain biking to preserve his knees. He also cleared brush from his central Texas ranch during the 100-degree summers. Bill Clinton was a runner who installed a jogging track at the White House. He also played golf and indulged in Big Macs.

Trump likes fast food, too, along with well-done steaks, chocolate cake and double scoops of vanilla ice cream. He reportedly downs 12 Diet Cokes a day. In their recent book, "Let Trump Be Trump," former top campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie described the four major food groups on Trump's campaign plane as "McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke."

The advisers also said one Trump meal in Chicago consisted of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake.


How much of Trump's health information the public gets to see is up to the president, but Sanders said she expects the White House to release the same kind of details past presidents have made public. Trump's doctor will release a brief statement on Friday after the exam, and then join her at Tuesday's briefing to offer a more detailed readout and answer questions.

Obama's three medical reports included sections on vital statistics; physical exam by system, such as eyes, pulmonary and gastrointestinal; lab results; his past medical and surgical history; his social history; and medications, among others.


Trump's official doctor is Ronny L. Jackson, a Navy rear admiral who was the emergency medicine doctor for a shock trauma platoon in Taqaddum, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to his Navy bio. Jackson also provided care for Obama. Jackson became a White House physician in 2006. He has overseen health care for the Cabinet and senior staff, served as physician supervisor for the Camp David presidential retreat and led the White House Medical Unit.

Jackson will examine the president and line up specialists to conduct other parts of the exam. The White House has released no information about the other doctors who will examine Trump.


Trump has visited twice as president to cheer wounded service members. He awarded Purple Hearts during visits in April and December.


Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter:

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump's first medical checkup as president set for Friday
President Donald Trump will be the patient himself, not the commander in chief comforting them, when he visits the Walter Reed military hospital Friday.
10:16AM ( 7 minutes ago )
The Latest: Sen. Durbin says Trump said 'hate-filled things'
Sen. Dick Durbin, who attended the White House immigration meeting, says President Donald Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries, saying he "said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly."
10:11AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention
Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention; 'Perfect definition of racism'
10:06AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump: No trip to London because of embassy choice
President Donald Trump says he canceled upcoming trip to London because he doesn't like the choice of new embassy
9:42AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Trump disparages African countries, Haiti with vulgarity
President Donald Trump has used a vulgarity to ask why the U.S. would accept more immigrants from Haiti and Africa rather than places like Norway
9:30AM ( 54 minutes ago )
What will the #MeToo movement mean for Cosby's next trial?
Legal experts say trend in supporting sex-misconduct victims will trickle into Cosby's retrial
9:28AM ( 56 minutes ago )
AP National News
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Trump dismisses Haiti, African countries with vulgarity; Trump poised for first medical check-up as president; Bill Cosby's next trial will carry the weight of the 'MeToo' movement
6:26AM ( 3 hours ago )
Members of Haitian community react to Trump's comments
Members of the Haitian community react to President Donald Trump's words about immigrants
5:52AM ( 4 hours ago )
Torrential California mudslide takes lives of elderly, young
The oldest victim swept away in a California mudslide was Jim Mitchell, who had celebrated his 89th birthday the day before and died with his wife of more than 50 years, Alice.
5:25AM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Trump denies "derogatory" remarks on Haitians
President Donald Trump is insisting he "never said anything derogatory about Haitians."
9:35AM ( 48 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump denies he used vulgarity about Africa
President Donald Trump says "this was not the language used" after reports that he referred to "shithole" African nations in a meeting
7:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: France welcomes 'good news' from Germany
The French government is welcoming the "good news" from Germany, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz announced a preliminary agreement on a new coalition government.
7:40AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Facebook edits feeds to bring less news, more sharing
Facebook tweaks pages to make time spent on social media healthier, more "meaningful."
9:23AM ( 1 hour ago )
Euro surges amid German government hopes; stocks solid
The euro surged to three-year highs against the dollar Friday amid signs that the European Central Bank is readying to rein in its stimulus sooner than many in the financial markets had been predicting
9:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
New eurozone chief Centeno wants closer unity, fewer crises
The euro currency zone has a new leader, as Portugal's Mario Centeno took over the reins of the body that was in the forefront of efforts to contain Europe's debt crises
9:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
JPMorgan Chase 4Q results fall 37 percent, due to tax charge
JPMorgan Chase's fourth quarter results fall 37 percent from a year ago, caused by one-time charge due to the recently passed Trump tax bill
7:19AM ( 3 hours ago )
China's trade with North Korea plunges as sanctions tighten
China's trade with North Korea is plunging as U.N. sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile development tightened
4:37AM ( 5 hours ago )
Rescuers expand search for survivors of ship fire off China
Rescue ships looking for 31 missing crew members from a burning oil tanker have expanded their search area off China's coast
2:16AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
APNewsBreak: Experts to study prison health care after riot
Delaware officials are hiring independent experts to review inmate access to health care and the prisoner grievance system in the wake of a deadly inmate riot and hostage taking last year at the state's maximum-security prison
12:50PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump health pick wary of government drug price negotiations
HHS nominee Azar wary of broad government role in negotiating drug prices
2:38PM ( 2 days ago )
In new rule, Trump tries to deliver a health care promise
The Trump administration is proposing regulations to facilitate the interstate sale of health insurance policies that cost less but may not cover as much
1:40PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Business - Health Care
The Latest: Sen. Durbin says Trump said 'hate-filled things'
Sen. Dick Durbin, who attended the White House immigration meeting, says President Donald Trump used vulgar language to describe African countries, saying he "said these hate filled things and he said them repeatedly."
10:11AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Britain's queen dishes on weight of the crown in documentary
Queen Elizabeth II has spoken candidly about the weight of wearing the crown in a new documentary that addresses the unexpected perils of being the monarch.
10:01AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Russia says it eliminated Syria rebels who attacked its base
The Russian military says it has destroyed a group of rebels who have attacked Russia's air base in Syria
9:56AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention
Africa startled by Trump's sudden and vulgar attention; 'Perfect definition of racism'
9:51AM ( 32 minutes ago )
McSally launches Senate campaign in heated Arizona contest
Congresswoman Martha McSally launches Senate campaign in heated Arizona contest
9:42AM ( 41 minutes ago )