By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump will be the patient, not the commander in chief offering comfort, when he visits the Walter Reed military hospital on Friday.
Trump is headed to the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for his first medical checkup as president. But what has been a fairly routine exam for previous officeholders has taken on outsized importance in the age of Trump, given the tone of some of his tweets, comments attributed to some of his close advisers and Trump’s recent slurring of words on national TV.
Some of the comments were published in a new book about Trump’s first year, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denounced as “complete fantasy” for portraying her 71-year-old boss as undisciplined and in over his head as president.
Trump himself has pushed back hard against any suggestion that he’s mentally unfit, declaring himself “a very stable genius.”
Some questions and answers about Trump’s physical:
WHAT QUESTIONS WILL THE EXAM ANSWER?
The exam, lasting several hours, will measure things like Trump’s blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate and weight.
Conclusions about his mental acuity aren’t expected. The White House said Trump will not undergo a psychiatric exam. Officials did not address a different type of screening: assessments of cognitive status that examine neurologic functions including memory. Cognitive assessments aren’t routine in standard physicals, though they recently became covered in Medicare’s annual wellness visits for seniors.
IS THE EXAM MANDATORY?
No, but modern presidents typically undergo them regularly and release a doctor’s report declaring they are “fit for duty.”
WHAT’S KNOWN ABOUT TRUMP’S HEALTH?
Two months before the November 2016 election, Trump released a five-paragraph letter from his longtime physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein, who concluded that Trump “is in excellent physical health.” A year earlier, Bornstein said in a December 2015 letter: “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”
The 2016 letter put Trump’s blood pressure and…