Donald Trump has been touting the results of a cognitive test he took in 2018, saying that he aced it, that doctors were surprised at how well he did, and that h e challenges Joe Biden to take a similar test. In an interview recently, he was challenged on this, and defended himself, saying the test was actually very hard.
Fox News‘ Chris Wallace interviewed Trump and pointed out that respondents to a survey considered Biden to be of sounder mind than Trump. “Let’s go take a test, right now,” Trump replied, “Let [Joe Biden] take the same test that I took.”
"I took the [cognitive] test too, when I heard you passed it. It's not the hardest test. It shows a picture and it says, 'what's that,' and it's an elephant." — Chris Wallace pushes back on Trump hyping the cognitive test he passed at Walter Reed pic.twitter.com/8Df8Ez10Ma
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 19, 2020
Wallace responded, saying, “It’s not the hardest test,” and pointing out that questions include identifying an elephant.
“That’s all misrepresentation. It’s all misrepresentation. Because yes, the first few questions are easy, but I’ll bet you couldn’t even answer the last five questions. I’ll bet you couldn’t. They get very hard,” Trump insisted, also telling Wallace, “I guarantee you Joe Biden could not answer those questions.”
Trump has previously indicated that the test was a challenge, saying, as Washington Post reported, that the doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center were surprised that he did well, and saying that not many people pass the test.
The Seattle Times published an explanation of the cognitive test — the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) test — in 2018 when it was revealed that Trump had taken it. The test doesn’t demonstrate intelligence — instead, it looks for cognitive failure. The average person can name a giraffe, draw a clock that shows a given time, repeat a sentence or series of words, and identify which sequence of numbers represents counting backwards by sevens.
The point is not that the test is easy. The point is that an inability to complete aspects of the test reveals different types of mental decline.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com