WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS) — Dr. Ronny Jackson, President Trump’s choice to replace David Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, is an Iraq War vet and the current White House physician.
An admiral in the U.S. Navy, Jackson practiced medicine as part of the American military effort in Iraq before President George W. Bush brought him to the White House. He became the top White House doctor under President Obama in 2013.
Jackson is probably best known for his January press conference.
“The president’s physical exam today at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center went exceptionally well,” Jackson said in a statement the White House provided to reporters at the time. “The president is in excellent health and I look forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday.”
Jackson then addressed reporters in the White House briefing room, declaring that the 71-year-old president was in “very, very good health” during an hour-long press conference. Jackson said Mr. Trump likely had “incredible genes” that allowed him to remain healthy despite a lack of exercise and a penchant for fast food.
“That’s just the way God made him,” Jackson said.
He also repeatedly said the president displayed no signs of any cognitive shortcomings.
Jackson obtained his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch and is a decorated officer. Presidents typically choose military personnel to serve as their physicians, although they can pick anyone they want. President Ronald Reagan, for example, chose a civilian doctor.
The president’s physician typically travels with the president and oversees the White House Medical Center, which provides medical assistance to the president and vice president.