Critics mocked President Donald Trump for saying that he aced a recent cognitive assessment test — but the doctor who created the test, Dr. Zaid Nasreddine, just came forward to set things straight.
Dr. Nasreddine informed CNN’s Erin Burnett that the president’s results were good, saying the assessment is actually “somewhat hard” or even “challenging” for those with normal cognitive abilities, The Daily Caller reported.
Trump and the cognitive assessment test
Trump described the test during a recent interview with Fox News’ medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel, particularly a section of the test involving memorizing and then later recalling a set of five words in order: “Person, woman, man, camera, TV.”
The president said that he took the test to “shut these people up” — meaning critics who have been attacking his mental faculties. Trump suggested that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden should take it too.
CNN’s Burnett invited Dr. Nasreddine, who had created the test that Trump took, to appear on her “Out Front” program. But if Burnett was expecting him to support the narrative that the test was easy for anyone not suffering from dementia to “ace,” then she was sorely mistaken.
Asked to describe the assessment, Dr. Nasreddine said, “This test is meant to assess cognitive functions, meaning that we are assessing which cognitive domains would be effected and neurological illness. So we usually look at memory, at concentration, attention, executive functions, perception. So all these skills are assessed to determine somebody’s cognition is okay.”
Test creator explains
Burnett attempted to make the point that only those with concerns about their cognitive state would need to take the test. She tried to further the new narrative that the test was relatively easy for people without cognitive concerns, and tried prod the neurologist into agreeing with her.
“The test has been developed and it took many years to develop it because it has to be hard enough to pick up subtle cognitive deficits that are early signs of, for example, Alzheimer’s,” Nasreddine said. “But, so it is meant hard for patients who have a cognitive disorder.”
“It could be somewhat hard for somebody who is normal, especially certain questions are harder than others, especially the five-word recall,” he continued. “Most patients do not get the five words. Most normal people don’t get the five words after five or ten minutes delay,” he added. “Most of them get 3.7 words. So it’s not that easy to go through the whole testing.”
Burnett continued to press the new narrative, however, and after playing a clip of Trump saying the last five questions of the test were hard, she asked again about the difficulty of the assessment for people with normal cognitive functions.
“Actually, I think he’s referring to the five-word question, because it does — it is challenging,” Nasreddine replied. “Some people get only two out of five, three out of five. It’s not everyone can get five out of five or 30 out of 30, like I mentioned before. Only 10 percent of normal individuals get 30 out of 30.” Watch below:
.@ErinBurnett had on the doctor who created the “person woman man camera TV” Trump cognitive test.
She seemed pretty disappointed when he said:
– 5-word recall question is hard, average is 3.7
– Whole test is “somewhat hard” for “normal” people
– Only 10% get all questions right pic.twitter.com/4loogm8XJw
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) July 24, 2020