Last week, President Joe Biden underwent an annual physical examination conducted by Dr. Kevin O’Connor, as the Washington Examiner reports, and while the physician declared the commander in chief “fit for duty,” there are certain lingering questions about his overall condition that went unanswered.
In a memorandum directed toward White House press secretary Jen Psaki, O’Connor stated, “The President remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations.”
Despite declaring Biden in sufficient health to carry out the duties of his office, O’Connor did make mention of a pair of observations that he suggested should be the subject of additional “detailed investigation,” namely, frequent throat clearing and coughing as well as a stiffened and “less fluid” gait.
The president’s doctor also noted “mild peripheral neuropathy” in both of Biden’s feet, though there was no demonstration of motor weakness reported, but rather just a “subtle difference in heat/cold sensation… .”
While the absence of particularly worrisome physical findings may be reassuring to some, particularly in light of Biden’s advanced age, the examination appears not to have included any sort of assessment of the president’s cognitive state – a topic of increasing interest and concern to countless Americans.
During a discussion of the president’ annual exam, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta was asked whether it seemed to him that any testing of Biden’s mental acuity was conducted, and he replied, according to Newsweek, “It doesn’t seem like it. I read pretty carefully through the doctor’s report and they mention neurological exam, but that was more in terms of testing motor strength and sensation and things like that.”
As Newsweek further noted, a Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted earlier this month revealed that nearly half of Americans currently harbor concerns about Biden’s cognitive capabilities, a clear indication that a test – such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment taken by former President Donald Trump during his tenure in office – may have been in order.
Prominent politicians including Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) – Trump’s former White House physician – and former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley have called on older leaders such as Biden to undergo cognitive assessments, with the Jackson declaring earlier this year that the president’s “cognitive decline is on full display, and the results have been disastrous.”
It seems obvious that if Biden had been subjected to a cognitive exam last week and did indeed perform well, those results would be immediately touted by the White House for all to see as a means to quash increasing speculation about his mental frailties. As such, in this regard, his staff’s silence on the matter really does speak volumes.