Well, President Joe Biden has had his first physical since taking control of the White House, and it couldn’t have come too soon.
As both the oldest sitting president in U.S. history and the successor to President Donald Trump, over whose physical and mental health much political hay was made, there has been a great interest in Biden’s health.
Kevin C. O’Connor, D.O., Physician to the President, conducted the physical last week, which included consultations with several specialists from Walter Reed National Military Center ranging from optometrists, dentists, ENT specialists, cardiologists, neurologists and gastroenterologists.
In a memo to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki detailing the results of the physical written at the president’s request, O’Connor concluded that Biden is fit for duty and able to execute his responsibilities.
O’Connor did, however, note two observations he found worthy of mention which may surprise you as they are not, in fact, what I’m guessing most Americans are concerned about when it comes to President Biden’s health.
First off, O’Connor noted that Biden suffers from a pronounced cough.
“The President has experienced increasing frequency and severity of ‘throat clearing’ and coughing during speaking engagements. He has exhibited such symptoms for as long as I have known him, but they certainly seem to be more frequent and more pronounced over the last few months,” he wrote.
“It is acknowledged that this perception may be artificially confounded by the undeniable fact that, as President, a much greater attention is directed toward his public engagements as compared to that which he experienced in previous positions.
“Nevertheless, this symptom is clearly present, and warranted detailed investigation.”
After consultations with specialists in gastroenterology and otolaryngology and a number of tests, O’Connor concluded that the throat clearing is likely attributed to gastroesophageal reflux. Biden is already taking acid blockers for reflux, so the physician deemed no further treatment was recommended.
Second, Biden’s gait has grown noticeably stiffer.
“The President’s ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago. He has several reasonable explanations for this in his orthopedic history, but again, a detailed investigation was appropriate,” O’Connor wrote.
After consulting with specialists in orthopedics, neurology, radiology and physical therapy, O’Connor and the team concluded that significant spinal arthritis and “limp and compensation” from a foot fracture President Biden suffered last year were to blame for the stiffer gait.
He will continue with physical therapy and exercise.
Now, I know what you’re thinking — what about the results of President Biden’s cognitive examination?
Isn’t that sort of why everyone was so interested in learning the results of his physical? Didn’t we all wait on pins and needles to find out if President Trump’s mean tweets could be attributed to cognitive dysfunction?
Here’s the kicker — while O’Connor did consult neurologists, it only seems to have pertained to peripheral neuropathy, i.e. nerve damage, which could have contributed to Biden’s stiff gait, and not, in fact, his cognitive health.
This is … concerning at best.
While former White House doctor, now-Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas has noted on multiple occasions that President Biden appears to be suffering cognitive decline, O’Connor, doesn’t appear to have been very concerned at all about the frequent bouts of forgetfulness, short temper and slurred speech that our president displays on a routine basis. Instead, he focused on concerns about the throat clearing and dulled spring in Biden’s step.
Even Dr. Sanjay Gupta was scratching his head as to why this important test was missing.
As The Daily Wire reported, Gupta was asked on air if Biden had undergone any tests that “measured mental acuity,” as his predecessor had.
“It doesn’t seem like it,” Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said. “I read pretty carefully through the doctor’s report, and there was, they mentioned neurological exam, but that was more in terms of testing motor strength and sensation and things like that.”
“President Trump had something known as the Montreal cognitive assessment. It’s sort of a screening test for dementia. And, you know, that there was no mention of that sort of thing here. It is a constant point of discussion.
“I can tell you within the geriatrics community, I wrote this book last year about brain health, and one of the things that kept coming up was, should sort of these types of screening tests, cognitive screening tests, be more commonly done? And there’s many in that community who believe starting at age 65, there should be some sort of screening that’s done. Dr. Ronald Peterson, who runs the Alzheimer’s clinic at Mayo, has been somebody who talked about that. But as far as we know, for President Biden, we didn’t see any kind of tests like that performed.”
I don’t think I can find the words to describe how astounding this is.
As Dr. Gupta said, it seems quite reasonable for older patients to be subject to routine dementia screening. So, at the very least, shouldn’t the 78-year-old President of the United States undergo such a test?
Even if Biden was the sharpest-witted man in the world, it seems like a serious oversight to inexplicably omit neurological testing.
To say nothing of the fact that President Biden’s cognitive abilities have been causing serious distress since long before he was elected.
During the campaign, he forgot where he was. While sequestered in his basement, he needed a teleprompter to give live TV interviews, and when he was out and about, he would shout nonsensical insults at skeptical voters — that is, when he wasn’t simply angrily cussing at them.
Now that he’s in office, we can draw on countless examples of Biden zoning out mid-speech, slurring over his words and lashing out at reports — that is, when his people let him talk to reporters at all. When that happens, he’s usually worried he’ll “get in trouble” if he does so for too long.
When you examine the warning signs of early-onset dementia from the Mayo clinic, Biden checks every box.
If mean tweets were a good enough reason for the American people to demand Donald Trump undergo transparent neurological testing, do we not have a rock-solid case as to why Biden should, too?
The fact that he hasn’t is almost more concerning than all the indications that Biden may be struggling with cognitive decline combined … and that’s the really scary thing.