It's hardly a new practice for presidents to undergo full physical exams. Actually, they usually occur with little fanfare — but Donald Trump's first physical exam as president is attracting more attention than usual. With the medical exam scheduled to take place on Friday, those scrutinizing the president's every move are curious to know when Trump's medical exam results will be released.
Considering that the White House released former President Barack Obama's medical exam results a few weeks after his physical, you might expect the same for President Trump's results. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, said that White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson is prepared to field questions about Trump's physical exam on Tuesday, Jan. 16, implying that there may not be a formal release.
As with his tax records, Trump has never released his medical records, but it is customary for the White House to release the physical exam results. Of course, the Trump administration isn't shy from bucking the norm and following the controversial exposé Fire and Fury penned by journalist Michael Wolff, Trump's White House could potentially be more tight-lipped about how much it reveals to the public — especially if it has the potential to reveal something unflattering about the president.
In addition, the White House has made it clear that the physical exam will not include a psychiatric evaluation of Trump.
White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley did not further expand on what the exam would entail, but has stated that Trump is "sharp as a tack." That comment came in response to Fire and Fury, in which sources connected to Trump reportedly call him “a f*cking moron," "a child," "dumb as sh*t," and for practical purposes, "no more than semiliterate." Trump has called the book "fake news."
Trump, 71, is scheduled to undergo his routine physical exam on Friday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, D.C. Dr. Jackson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, will conduct the exam. Jackson also conducted the exams of Obama and George W. Bush.
Trump's physical exam will likely include tests for cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels, plus screening for age-related diseases such as cancer. As Obama's physical exam report indicates, Dr. Jackson will most likely assess Trump's eye, ears, throat, and skin. Trump would also undergo a neurological checkup on his motor functions and cranial nerves.
What habits we do know of Trump don't speak well for his physical health. But as a caveat, lifestyle choices affect each individual's health to different degrees and only a medical practitioner can accurately evaluate Trump's health.
Business Insider reporter Dennis Green once tried "the Trump diet," based mostly on accounts from former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The president can go 14 to 16 hours without eating before having a McDonald's dinner of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, and a small chocolate shake, Lewandowski wrote in his book Let Trump Be Trump. Trump often avoids breakfast and orders his steaks — his favorite food — cooked well done with a side of ketchup. Trump doesn't drink alcohol, so that's a plus toward his health, but he reportedly drinks 12 Diet Cokes a day, according to a New York Times profile. He seems to have had a change of heart on Diet Coke, then:
Trump has also boasted of how his hard work ethic has put sleep on the back burner, but propelled him to success in the business world. In an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, Trump said he sleeps four to five hours a night. On the campaign trail, it was as little as three to four.
The president also reportedly has an unorthodox theory that exercise is bad for you. As per the book Trump Revealed by the Washington Post's Mike Kranisch and Marc Fisher:
After college, after Trump mostly gave up his personal athletic interests, he came to view time spent playing sports as time wasted. Trump believed the human body was like a battery, with a finite amount of energy, which exercise only depleted. So he didn't work out. When he learned that John O'Donnell, one of his top casino executives, was training for an Ironman triathlon, he admonished him, "You are going to die young because of this."
Despite these habits, Trump's personal doctor declared ahead of the 2016 election that Trump would be "the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency."
There's no set precedent to what the president reveals about his or her health, so you'll have to wait until next Tuesday when Dr. Jackson is scheduled for a press conference.