When President Donald Trump stated that he passed a cognitive test with flying colors, people were not sure what to make of it. In an interview , he stated that he took a cognitive test that he did so well in that the doctors were impressed. The reason he took this test was so he could shut down people telling him that he is mentally unfit to be running a country. A similar assertion was made against his democratic party election competitor Joe Biden.
In the video clip that was shared on Twitter, Trump said that the doctor who gave him the Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test said, "That's an unbelievable thing. Rarely does anybody do what you just did." This is a test administered to check for memory loss or early dementia, according to CNN . This test mainly involves tasks that include identifying animals, drawing a clock, simple math, and helps determine if taker is suffering from mild cognitive dysfunction. Social media users did not let Trump enjoy this sweet win for a long time. There was a claim that a gorilla had also taken the same test and passed, just like Trump did.
Twitter user Hoodlum made this claim and wrote , "Koko the gorilla passed the same cognitive tests Trump’s been bragging about, except using sign language." Koko the gorilla is a celebrity in her own right. She was a western lowland gorilla who was able to communicate through sign language, with a vocabulary of more than 1,000 signs and the ability to understand 2,000 words of spoken English, and was renowned for her emotional depth. Barbara King, a professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary, told National Geographic, "Because she was smart enough to comprehend and use aspects of our language, Koko could show us what all great apes are capable of: reasoning about their world, and loving and grieving the other beings to whom they become attached."
Koko is well-known for being a smart cookie. So it was not surprising that the claim was taken seriously by social media users who ran with the story. They were ready to replace the current president of the United States with a gorilla who passed away two years ago. Paul Bernal tweeted : I know which I’d rather have as President. Rob Szczerba wrote Meet your new Secretary of State. Bryan William Jones stated : Koko would have called Trump, “dirty bad toilet”. All the fun and games aside, is this claim that Koko took the test and aced actually true?
Koko was a part of many tests and it was Dr. Francine "Penny" Patterson who wanted to teach the gorilla how to speak. According to Mediaite , it is not likely that Koko ever took the test. For one, it is not mentioned among the tests listed in Patterson’s research on Koko. "In some types of questions, Koko did better than human counterparts of her age. At age four-and-one-half, she scored better than the average child of six in her ability," Patterson stated. So there is a chance that Koko could have done well in certain parts of the cognitive test but we will never know because she has not actually taken it.