President Trump defended his recent cognitive test — this time describing it in detail.
Speaking to Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and a Fox News contributor, the president said, “It was 30 to 35 questions. The first questions are very easy. The last questions are much more difficult, like a memory question. It’s, like, you’ll go: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV. So they’ll say, ‘Could you repeat that?’ So I said, ‘Yeah. So it’s: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’ ”
As to the test’s scoring: “If you get it in order you get extra points,” Trump, 74, added. “OK, now he’s asking you other questions, other questions, and then, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes later they say, ‘Remember that first question, not the first, but the 10th question? Give us that again. Can you do that again?’ And you go: ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’ If you get it in order, you get extra points. They said nobody gets it in order,” Trump said. “It’s actually not that easy, but for me it was easy.”
“They say, ‘That’s amazing. How did you do that?’ I do it because I have, like, a good memory, because I am cognitively there. Now, Joe [Biden] should take that test, because something’s going on. And, and, I say this with respect, I mean, it’s going to probably happen to all of us, right?”
Trump also said the U.S. needs a president who is sharp, because of the lineup of world leaders with whom a commander-in-chief engages:
“ ‘President Xi is sharp. President Putin is sharp. Erdoğan is sharp.’ ”
Last week, Trump defended the cognitive test in a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, who pointed out that one of the questions was to identify a picture of an elephant. “Yes, the first few questions are easy, but I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions,” Trump responded. “I’ll bet you couldn’t. They get very hard, the last five questions.” Siegel interviewed the president at the White House, and did not interrupt as Trump spoke for approximately six minutes.
Ziad Nasreddine in 1996 developed and copyrighted the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test that Trump took nearly two weeks ago at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It is a 10-minute examination usually completed with pen and paper that measures the strengths of different areas of the brain, such as short-term memory, spatial awareness and executive functioning.
In an interview this week with MarketWatch’s Nicole Pesce, Nasreddine contextualized his cognitive exam:
“ ‘It’s supposed to be easy for someone who has no cognitive impairment.’ ”
As of late morning Thursday, the U.S. case tally had edged close to 4 million, with California’s diagnosed cases now exceeding those of early U.S. hot spot New York following a surge in new infections in recent weeks.
California now has more than 422,000 confirmed cases, compared with New York’s 413,595, although New York’s death toll is still the highest in the nation at 32,228, according to a New York Times tracker.
Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia also tallied record daily case numbers, and Alabama, Idaho and Texas recorded daily death-toll records, the Times reported.