Election 2020

Cognitive Tests Are Not Intelligence Tests—and Joe Biden Needs to Take One Now

AP Photo/Paul Vernon

Actress and Joe Biden shill Alyssa Milano has officially lost it. In a manic 22-part Twitter thread, where she talked about everything from the last time she shaved her legs to a lack of PPE that no longer exists, she added this:

This fallacy seems to be a common theme: The cognitive test President Trump took is so easy. It is if you are not cognitively impaired. These tests do not measure intelligence. Instead, they measure how your brain functions. This difference is fundamental to understanding why a five-year-old can pass it.

That Alyssa’s daughter did is terrific news. It indicates she is likely free from underlying learning disabilities or cognitive delays. It did not test her daughter’s IQ or intelligence in any way. People with different levels of intelligence and across age ranges can have similar scores on a cognitive test because it is testing function, not content.

VIDEO: Watch CNN’s Don Lemon Flub Cognitive Test, Hear One of Tucker Carlson’s Best Lines Ever

Just like a physical therapist may test the range of motion and strength of a limb, your brain can be tested for intelligence and cognition. Pundits and commentators confusing these two things are either being willfully misleading or don’t understand the difference.

President Trump took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) administered by former White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson. It is a short assessment to screen for cognitive impairment. The MoCA is used across a range of settings, from mental health to brain trauma. It has been validated repeatedly for its ability to detect mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia.

Cognitive Test

The test may have different score ranges due to age and education level, but generally, a score of 26 or higher rules out mild cognitive impairment and other forms of dementia. There have been insinuations that Dr. Jackson picked a so-called easy test because he is now running for office as a Republican—a nonsense assertion for several reasons.

In 2005, the validation study was completed and has been cited over 11,000 times. It compared the MoCA to the Mini-Mental State Evaluation (MMSE). The conclusion of the controlled study was that the MoCA identified 90% of patients with mild cognitive impairment and 100% of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The MMSE identified 18% and 78% respectively.

Dr. Jackson selected a superior screening test for mild cognitive impairment. Once again, this information took about 10 minutes of Internet research to find. So President Trump telling an interviewer he passed it two years ago is excellent news. His cognitive abilities appear unchanged. Even if you disagree with him, Trump is still Trump. His recall of the format was also spot on.

This information should raise several questions for Alyssa, CNN commentators, and Democrats generally. If they believe this test is so easy, why won’t Joe Biden agree to take one? One thing is certain: He is not the same man he was two years ago. His speech, impulse control, and memory all seem to have been impacted. Here is a montage.

Compare those clips to this December 2017 interview.

For the last five months, Joe Biden has rarely left his home. He has not been under the rigors of a typical campaign. He should be pretty well-rested and under less stress than if he were flying nationwide for campaign events. Yet his mental acuity seems worse than it did last fall.

The Biden campaign needs to address this. American voters need to see Joe Biden in an extemporaneous setting like a debate, or he needs to demonstrate competence through testing.

At this point, Biden’s continued candidacy and limited public exposure can only be described as a fraud perpetrated on the American voter. He is announcing whoever the Obama machine picked to be his vice president tomorrow. Until he makes regular unscripted appearances, like an interview with Chris Wallace, or takes a cognitive test, you should view his vice-presidential pick as the next president because at the current rate of decline being demonstrated by Biden, it is highly likely he or she will be by Inauguration Day.

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