Dr. Ronny Jackson, the presidential physician who has served under three presidents, has been nominated for a promotion.
The Pentagon announced on Friday that President Donald Trump nominated Jackson to the position of rear admiral (upper half) from his current position of rear admiral (lower half). The nomination, which secretary of defense Jim Mattis announced, would give Jackson his second star and a bump in pay.
Jackson gained notoriety earlier this year when he briefed reporters on Trump’s first physical exam, touting the commander in chief’s “incredible genes” and overall “excellent” health.
“I told the President that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years he might live to be 200 years old,” Jackson said, eliciting laughter from reporters.
The briefing raised some questions from medical professionals about how Trump, who weighed in at 239 pounds, has a body mass index perilously close to the “obese” range, and has a common form of heart disease, could be deemed in “excellent” health.
“There’s no question, by all standards, by all metrics, anyway a doctor or cardiologist will look at it, the president does have heart disease,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent.
Jackson began his medical career in 1995 when he graduated from the medical school at the University of Texas.
Jackson was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the the Surgical Shock Trauma Platoon in Taqaddum, Iraq, and was named White House physician in 2006 while still in Iraq. He was appointed physician to the President by former President Barack Obama.