Donald Trump literally phoned it in again to Sean Hannity's show on Fox News last night, and boasted that he'd recently taken a cognitive test that not only proved that he's a stable genius, but that the doctors who gave the test were astounded by how well he did, since most people can't possibly do as well as Trump did. If this sounds a tad familiar, that would be because it's almost exactly what he said over two years ago when he bragged about "acing" a test that should be passed by anyone who isn't actively experiencing cognitive decline. It's like bragging that you aced a coronavirus screening, and that the lab techs couldn't believe what an impressive nasal swab you had.

Here's Trump, insisting that Joe Biden probably couldn't pass such a test, because Joe Biden just isn't all there mentally if you know what Trump means (never mind that half the time, it's an utter mystery what Trump means):

We'll confess we didn't watch the full interview, so if Hannity struggled to keep from giggling, we'd have missed it.

Trump was very, very proud of this thing that very definitely happened even though he forgot to throw in a few "sirs":

[Biden] hasn't taken any cognitive tests because he couldn't pass one. I actually took one very recently when I, when I was, you know, the radical Left was saying, "Is he all there? Is he all there?" And I proved I was all there, because I aced it, I aced the test. And he should take the same exact test, a very standard test. I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center, in front of doctors, and they were very surprised. They said, "That's an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anyone do what you just did." But he should take that same test.

Why doctors would be surprised that Trump passed — negatively, which is positive — a dementia test was left unexplained.

Those skeptics at the Washington Post point out that it's "unclear exactly what cognitive test Trump was referring to in the interview," adding that the last known cognitive test Trump took was at Walter Reed in January 2018. That was part of the annual physical that led then-White House top doc Ronny Jackson to insist Trump was definitely not overweight, and that Trump got a "perfect score" on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, known to the cool kids in the neurological testing biz as the "MoCA." Mmm, chocolatey!

Trump bragged about his incredibly good score on that test at the time, too, telling attendees at a Republican retreat that there "aren't a lot of people" who can get a perfect score (30 points out of 30) on the test, parts of which he said were very challenging.

As we said at the time, this tells us a hell of a lot more about Trump's need to lie and inflate his own modest abilities than it does his cognitive abilities. The MoCA is simply not an intelligence or achievement test; it's a screening for signs of cognitive impairment. The normal range — indicating that the patient probably doesn't need further screening for dementia — is any score over 26, and the average score for people without impairment is 27.4. (See also this WaPo explainer from 2018 that looks at what the test does reveal; for instance, "draw a clock" is easy, unless someone's executive functioning is in decline.) Put another way, the only scores on the MoCa that matter are the ones where you lose too many points — not because that makes you dumb, but because it could indicate a neurological problem.

The White House, unsurprisingly, didn't reply to the Post's inquiries about any more recent tests Trump may have taken.

For his part, last month Biden told a reporter who asked if he'd been tested for cognitive decline that he's ready to face Trump cortex to cortex any time the "president" wants:

I've been tested and I'm constantly tested. [...] Look, all you gotta do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I'm running against.

We suspect that when Biden said he's been tested, he means that more in the "doing stuff" than the clinical sense.

In any case, we're glad that Donald Trump is so very pleased to have astonished doctors with his completely unimpressive normal score, whether in 2018 or now, and we wish him many more years of boasting about how he is absolutely more average than anyone thought possible.

Also too, here again is the test, but remember that it's not a test for self-diagnosis, and you are probably not a doctor, except for you doctors:

MoCA test by The Guardian on Scribd

Moca test by The Guardian on Scribd

UPDATE: Mandatory Sarah Cooper.

[WaPo / WaPo (2018) / The Hill]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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