Sunday August 9th, 2020 5:12PM

Cognitive Test. Trump. Biden. Campaign. Flashpoint.

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — It doesn’t quite have the ring of “Morning in America” and “I Like Ike.”

But the phrase “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.” is getting an unlikely moment in the spotlight as President Donald Trump has taken a detour into the politics of dementia three months before the election.

Trump, 74, attempted to demonstrate his mental fitness by reciting five words — in order, importantly — over and over in a television interview broadcast Wednesday night. The president said that collection of nouns, or ones like them, was part of a cognitive test he had aced while declaring that his likely Democratic opponent, 77-year-old Joe Biden, could not do the same.

In a battle of septuagenarians, the Trump campaign has long tried to paint Biden as having lost some of his mental sharpness. But the gambit has yet to prove successful in denting the former vice president’s standing in the race. That leaves Trump trying to escalate the attacks while defending his own ability to handle the mental rigors of the job.

“The first questions are very easy,” Trump told Fox News. “The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s, like, you’ll go: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV. So they say, ‘Could you repeat that?’ So I said, ‘Yeah. It’s: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’”

He then recalled that, at the end of the test, the doctor asked him to recite it again.

“And you go: ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' If you get it in order, you get extra points,” Trump said. “They said nobody gets it in order. It’s actually not that easy, but for me, it was easy.”

Trump boasted that he dazzled the doctors because he has “a good memory, because I’m cognitively there” and delivered an unsubtle accusation about Biden.

“Now Joe should take that test because something’s going on,” Trump said. “And, I say this with respect. I mean — going to probably happen to all of us, right? You know? It’s going to happen.”

The subject of smarts — especially his own — has long fascinated the president.

Trump has been known to declare that he is “a very stable genius" and that “I have the best words” while noting that he attended the prestigious Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. And about a month ago, he began telling aides that a cognitive test he took as part of his physical in 2018 could be something he could weaponize against Biden.

The president has been known to recite five words to aides in the West Wing or on Air Force One — he’d tweak the list to make it appropriate for the setting — while claiming that Biden could not do the same.

But some of Trump’s descriptions about the test and what it means don’t quite fit with what experts describe about the most common of cognitive tests given to older people. There is no bonus and it's meant to be easy, said Dr. James Galvin, a University of Miami professor of neurology who runs a dementia center.

Galvin said what Trump described sounds an awful lot like the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, often called MoCa. It takes about 10 minutes and the top score is 30, said Galvin, who has administrated thousands of the tests.

The MoCa “is a screening test,” Galvin said. “It’s not a diagnostic test. And more importantly, it’s not an IQ test. It doesn’t tell how smart someone is. It’s designed to be a relatively easy test because what you want to do is pick up people who have problems or possible problems.”

The last questions are not the hardest for most people, and they are usually naming the day of the week, date, month, year and where the person being tested is, Galvin said. The test does not get harder as it goes along but measures different parts of cognition, like memory, attention, spatial awareness and language. Additionally, the words the president cited would not be grouped together because they are all in some way related to one another, he said.

And the real concern would be if a subject did not do well on the test.

“I think he’s thinking of it like some sort of IQ test or SAT test, something along those lines. But it’s not anything like that. It’s just basic,” said Dr. Raymond Turner, professor of neurology and director of Georgetown University’s Memory Disorders Program. “It’s kind of a low bar to jump over. It’s not necessarily something to brag about unless you are worried about decline or something.’’

Trump, whose father had Alzheimer’s disease, has said that his former personal physician Dr. Ronny Jackson accompanied him to the test in 2018. Jackson, who is now running for Congress, did not respond to an interview request Thursday.

Questions about presidential health, mental or otherwise, tend to be closely guarded and rarely made the subject of national cable interviews. They have been part of the national dialogue before, including Ronald Reagan’s mental health during his second term, though the health woes of Franklin Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were largely kept from the public.

But the Trump campaign has leaned in on the issue, despite the boomerang effect of highlighting the president’s own verbal missteps, as a means of suggesting that Biden’s blunders meant he was not up to the job.

“Any honest voter juxtaposing President Trump and Joe Biden can see the stark difference in mental acuity and wit,” said Trump spokesperson Ken Farnaso, before adding that “it’s their track records and not their ages that are in question here, and it’s clear that President Trump’s America First agenda is a winning platform."

When Biden was asked about cognitive testing last month, he responded, “I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested,” before adding, “I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”

The Biden campaign quickly clarified that its candidate was referring to the rigor of the presidential campaign -- not that he had undergone specific cognitive testing. And a campaign spokesperson wasted no time rebutting Trump’s claim on Thursday.

“Donald Trump is spectacularly failing every conceivable strategic test by ramping up mentions of this subject at all,” said spokesperson Andrew Bates. “Joe Biden sounded the alarm about the outbreak early, whereas Donald Trump is still promising us the virus will magically ‘disappear.’ Joe Biden has highlighted the advice of medical experts throughout the pandemic, but Donald Trump publicly encouraged COVID-19 victims to inject themselves with disinfectant.”

“And,” Bates continued, “if that’s not enough for you, ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Health - Senior Health
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Cognitive Test. Trump. Biden. Campaign. Flashpoint.
The phrase “Person
6:00PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Congress defies Trump veto threat on Confederate base names
Congress is defying President Donald Trump on removing Confederate symbolism from the military
5:58PM ( 16 minutes ago )
On House floor, Dem women call out abusive treatment by men
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s outrage over a Republican lawmaker’s verbal assault has broadened into an extraordinary moment on the House floor
5:53PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
At Nixon library, Pompeo declares China engagement a failure
The Trump administration has taken a hammer to one of the most significant Republican foreign policy achievements in the past five decades, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declaring U.S. engagement with China a dismal failure
5:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: France sees sharp surge in coronavirus cases
France is reporting a sharp uptick in coronavirus cases, with more than 1,000 new infections as people let their guard down heading into the country’s summer break
5:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
Watchdogs to review conduct of US agents in Portland, DC
Two government watchdogs say they have opened investigations into the conduct of federal agents responding to unrest in Portland, Oregon, following abuse of power allegations by members of Congress, local officials and the public
5:03PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
FDA tells doctors to discuss overdose antidote with patients
Doctors who prescribe opioid painkillers should tell their patients about a potentially life-saving medication that can reverse drug overdoses
4:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
South Africa's excess deaths surge as virus like 'wildfire'
South Africa's confirmed coronavirus cases have surpassed 400,000 while a report says the new global hot spot is seeing a “huge discrepancy” between confirmed COVID-19 deaths and an unusually high number of excess deaths from natural causes
3:02PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Indiana's governor, AG at odds over mask mandate
Indiana’s attorney general says the governor has overstepped his authority in issuing a statewide face mask mandate and that only the Legislature can make violations a criminal offense
1:35PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Health
Bolivia delays presidential election due to pandemic
Bolivia’s highest electoral authority has delayed presidential elections by more than a month due to the coronavirus pandemic
5:29PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Obama blasts Trump, praises Biden in new 2020 campaign video
Joe Biden and Barack Obama are stepping up their attacks on President Donald Trump and defending their time in the White House in a new video
2:03PM ( 4 hours ago )
Belarus: Leader threatens to expel media over election news
The longtime leader of Belarus has warned that Western media could be expelled from the country over what he described as their “tendentious” coverage of the presidential election next month in which he is seeking a sixth term
10:45AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Elections
Trump deploys feds to more states under 'law-and-order' push
President Donald Trump says he will send federal agents into Chicago and Albuquerque to help combat rising crime as he runs for reelection under a “law-and-order” mantle
4:34PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump's show of federal force sparking alarm in cities
President Donald Trump is using the Department of Homeland Security in unprecedented ways as he tries to bolster his law-and-order credentials by making a heavy-handed show of force in cities around the nation ahead of November elections
12:29AM ( 1 day ago )
Elizabeth Warren's new role: Key Joe Biden policy adviser
Elizabeth Warren has become an unlikely confidant and adviser to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden
12:19AM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Bolivia's September vote in doubt as virus death toll rises
Bolivia’s plan to hold elections in September to stabilize its troubled democracy is increasingly in doubt amid grim reports about rising coronavirus deaths
2:09PM ( 1 day ago )
Ohio speaker's arrest in bribery probe muddies 2020 election
The arrest of a powerful House speaker in Ohio in a federal bribery investigation cast a shadow over his political future that could loom large in pivotal 2020 elections in November
8:06AM ( 1 day ago )
Florida Democrats running to boost Biden from the bottom up
Florida Democrats are fielding the largest crop of legislative candidates in decades, contesting all but one statehouse seat up for election in November
8:48AM ( 2 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
The Latest: Masks compulsory in Australia's 2nd biggest city
Wearing masks became compulsory in Australia’s second-largest city of Melbourne on Thursday as coronavirus hot spot Victoria state reported 403 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and five deaths
10:39PM ( 19 hours ago )
The Latest: China reports 18 more COVID-19 cases in Xinjiang
China continues to see newly confirmed coronavirus cases in its northwestern region of Xinjiang, with 18 reported Thursday
10:00PM ( 20 hours ago )
US labs buckle amid testing surge; world virus cases top 15M
Labs across the U.S. are buckling under a surge of coronavirus tests, creating long processing delays that experts say are undercutting the pandemic response
9:59PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
Congress defies Trump veto threat on Confederate base names
Congress is defying President Donald Trump on removing Confederate symbolism from the military
5:58PM ( 17 minutes ago )
On House floor, Dem women call out abusive treatment by men
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s outrage over a Republican lawmaker’s verbal assault has broadened into an extraordinary moment on the House floor
5:53PM ( 22 minutes ago )
White House drops payroll tax cut after GOP allies object
President Donald Trump on Thursday reluctantly dropped his bid to cut Social Security payroll taxes as Republicans stumbled anew in their efforts to unite around a $1 trillion COVID-19 rescue package
5:44PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Judge orders Michael Cohen to be released from prison
A judge has ordered the release from prison of President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, saying he believes the government retaliated against him for writing a book about Trump
5:42PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Trump calls off Florida segment of GOP National Convention
President Donald Trump is announcing that he has canceled segments of the Republican National Convention scheduled for Florida next month, citing a “flare-up” of the coronavirus
5:41PM ( 34 minutes ago )