It’s reckoning time: U.S. President Donald Trump had his annual medical exam Friday, a year after his doctor advised him to up the exercise and cut the calories.
Trump spent more than four hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a checkup supervised by Dr. Sean P. Conley, his physician, and involving a panel of 11 specialists.
“I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond,” Conley wrote afterward.
He did not go into detail except to say Trump did not undergo any procedures requiring sedation or anesthesia. He said reports and recommendations stemming from the exam were still being finalized. It’s unclear how much more detail will be released in the coming days.
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Last year, Trump clocked in at 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds. He had a body mass index, or BMI, of 29.9, putting him in the category of being overweight for his height. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
His doctor then said the president was in “excellent health” but would do well to drop 10 to 15 pounds and shift to a low-fat, low-carb diet and take up a more defined exercise routine.
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One of the big questions Friday was how well Trump heeded that advice.
Trump, 72, doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke, but he’s not a big fan of the gym either. His primary form of exercise is golf. And he says he gets plenty of walking in around the White House complex.
As for his diet, Trump’s love of fast food remains. Last month, he invited the college football champion Clemson Tigers to the White House during the partial government shutdown. With the White House kitchen too understaffed to cater a meal, Trump stepped in: He ordered burgers, french fries and pizza.
Modern-day presidents have undergone regular exams to catch any potential problems but also to assure the public that they are fit for office, something Trump’s doctor last year took to an extraordinary level.
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After Trump’s first exam as president, Dr. Ronny Jackson, a Navy rear admiral, declared Trump to be in “excellent health.” He also said of Trump: “He has incredibly good genes, and it’s just the way God made him.”
Conley replaced Jackson after Trump nominated the latter to lead the Veterans Affairs Department. The nomination ran into trouble early as lawmakers questioned his qualifications to run the government’s second-largest department. Also, current and former colleagues accused Jackson of professional misconduct, including loosely dispensing medications and on-the-job drunkenness. Jackson denied the allegations but eventually withdrew his nomination.
Trump recently promoted Jackson to be an assistant to the president and chief medical adviser. He will advise the president on topics including veterans’ issues, the opioid crisis and health issues at the U.S.-Mexico border. Jackson, who is still under investigation, will also travel and work closely with White House staff.
Last year, doctors checked the president’s eyes; ears, nose and throat; heart; lungs; gastrointestinal tract; skin; and teeth. Neurological, cognitive and stress tests were also performed. Trump’s hearing was not tested; Jackson said he ran out of time. The exam stretched past four hours.