Donald Trump — aka the “Stable Genius” — cannot stop bragging about how well he did on a so-called cognitive test, asserting that his performance on the sophomoric evaluation was stunningly impressive.
But as The Washington Post notes, the cognitive tool used on Trump was something known as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a 10-minute test that’s designed to determine if a person is suffering from dementia, which raises the issue that the president was given the test because his doctors thought he might be on the decline mentally:
“Experts say the president’s fixation on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment — or MoCA, as it is sometimes called — is particularly puzzling because the test is normally administered only if someone is concerned that they or their loved ones may be experiencing dementia or other cognitive decline. Getting a perfect score — as Trump has repeatedly claimed he did — merely signifies that the test-taker probably does not have a cognitive impairment as measured by the exam.”
So if Trump “passed” the test, that doesn’t exactly mean he’s ready to join Mensa and start teaching theoretical physics at MIT.
Ziad Nasreddine, the neurologist who created the test, explains that MoCA is not an IQ test:
“It’s not meant to measure IQ or intellectual skill in anyway. If someone performs well, what it means is they can be ruled out for cognitive impairment that comes with diseases like Alzheimer’s, stroke or multiple sclerosis. That’s it.
“The reason most people take the test is they or others start noticing mental decline. They forgot where they parked the car, can’t remember what groceries to buy by the time they get to the store. They keep forgetting to take their medication.”
Dr. Kavita Patel, a frequent guest on MSNBC, says Trump clearly doesn’t understand that the MoCA test is all about and what purpose it serves, telling host Ayman Mohyeldin on Thursday:
“Very simply, this is a test of memory recall. It’s something that I commonly do. It’s three objects. You can do more, but it’s three objects and usually, I’ll say things like pen, watch, paper and then it’s really to test for that short-term memory recall.
“Candidly, we’re looking for much deeper issues such as dementia or, again, something that could be prohibiting a person from having the ability to remember something from ten minutes ago. So this is not meant to be some sort of detailed neurocognitive think of it like a screening. Almost like a blood pressure test. It’s something to give you a signal and then you look for more.”
Dr. Kavita Patel explains why Trump shouldn’t be bragging about passing a dementia screening test. pic.twitter.com/3VSuTmOPli
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 23, 2020
Maybe the reason Trump keeps bragging about his performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment is because he’s simply not used to doing well at anything. So when the doctors told him he had managed to not make a complete fool of himself on a rudimentary memory test, he thought he’d just been given a gold star like some sort of overgrown second-grader.
Stable genius? The only place that’s even remotely true is in Donald Trump’s nearly empty skull.