In recent television appearances, the first with Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the second with Fox News media personality Sean Hannity, one-term former President Donald Trump continues to boast about the results of the cognitive test he took back in 2018 under former White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson.
It's high time to educate his followers about this boast, the test, and his own inconsistencies when discussing it.
First off, it's important to understand what the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is and why one gets administered such an exam.
The MoCA test was created by Canadian neurologist Dr. Ziad Nasreddine. The test is 30 questions and designed to take 10 minutes. Questions include drawing a clock, copying a picture of a cube and identifying pictures of animals.
The different parts of the MoCA are labeled according to what they test, with the clock test falling under “visuospatial/executive.” Questions about the current year and date are under “orientation.” The request to identify a drawing of a camel is under “naming.” In the test’s scoring instructions, it explains what is covered: “attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visuoconstructional skills, conceptual thinking, calculations and orientation.”
“I created the test in 1996 as a screening examination where we ask the patient several questions," Nasreddine told NBC News. "Each question is accessing a different part of the brain in terms of cognition.”
It’s a test only given by doctors and not meant for the general public.
“It has to be interpreted by a physician who has expertise in cognitive disorders and cognition,” Nasreddine said.
So before going much further, does Dr. Ronny Jackson hold expertise in cognitive disorders and cognition? The short answer is no. While Jackson has served in the White House Medical Unit since 2005, including under three different presidents, he is not a specialist in cognitive disorders and cognition.
This fact alone should throw Trump's claims of acing into question.
On other separate occasions, it had become apparent that Trump's medical teams had lied about his status.
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When the same doctor who administered the MoCA reported Trump's body weight at 239 pounds, just a single pound under the Body Mass Index for declaring someone obese, many openly questioned the validity of Jackson's reporting.
During Trump's infection with Covid, his doctors both misled about when he became contagious, when he received certain treatments, and the seriousness of his illness.
Trump's narcissistic personality does not allow him to be seen as weak to the public, so it became painfully obvious to many that the information being shared through his medical team was dubious, at best.
In his media appearance with Greg Abbott of Texas, Trump had trouble remembering how many questions were in the test, claiming that the test 'had 35 questions.'
In a previous appearance with Chris Wallace of Fox News, Trump had this to say about the test, “Yes, the first few questions are easy, but I'll bet you couldn't even answer the last five questions. I'll bet you couldn't, they get very hard, the last five questions,” he told (Chris) Wallace.
Looking back up at the test, one should note that the last five questions ask what's the date, month, year, day, location, and what city that location is in. Those are the five questions Trump thinks are 'hard.' That's saying something right there.
And for a guy with such perfect cognition, he sure does mess up a lot of names of people he likely just got briefed to announce as you can see below.
And it's not just names. Trump seems to have recurring issues finding common words when he gives his speeches. The media have even come up with a series of mashups to highlight when Trump fails at recalling things as seen below.
All of these cognitive attacks the right is currently spewing daily sure does seem hypocritical when they can overlook so many failures from their chosen one. It's kind of hard to take their claims seriously when they are so willing to overlook the obvious that's right in front of them.
If anyone really needs proof of Trump's forgetfulness, just ask him a question about previous actions or statements about Russia. Politico noted twenty-seven times where Trump drew a blank about that topic.
So seriously right-wingers, try taking a harder look in the mirror before claiming to be experts about judging someone else's cognition. Based on who you're currently backing, you don't seem to have much ability to determine impairment.