Healthcare experts are amplifying their appeals for President Biden to undergo a mental competency assessment following a scathing report by special counsel Robert Hur. The report, made public on Thursday, revealed significant lapses in the 81-year-old’s memory regarding fundamental aspects of his personal and professional life.
The assessment, conducted over two days of interviews in October, highlighted Biden’s inability to recall key events such as his tenure as vice president and even the time frame surrounding his son Beau’s passing. ‘
“Something isn’t right, and even if it’s minor, it must be explained to the public,” Dr. Stuart Fischer, a primary care physician at a nursing home in the Bronx, told The NY Post. “The horse is out of the barn. Not only does [Biden] have an infirmity of some degree, but he has delayed producing objective evidence,” the internal medicine expert added, arguing that “no one is buying” the president’s defenses about his memory.
Despite being the oldest president in American history, Biden has rebuffed calls for mental acuity tests, despite persistent concerns voiced by critics and reflected in opinion polls. Although his most recent physical examination, released by the White House in February of the previous year, affirmed his physical capability to fulfill presidential duties, it omitted any reference to cognitive evaluations.
Dr. Fischer pointed out potential indicators of underlying health issues, such as infectious diseases or fatigue, cautioning against overexertion given Biden’s advanced age. Rep. Ronny Jackson, a former physician to Presidents Obama and Trump, echoed the sentiment, stressing the necessity for comprehensive cognitive assessments to address concerns about Biden’s fitness for office.
Jackson emphasized the importance of objective evaluation and transparency, urging for detailed cognitive tests to be administered and disclosed to the public. He refrained from diagnosing specific conditions but highlighted observable signs of cognitive decline, including speech slurring and memory lapses, which he deemed incompatible with the responsibilities of a commander-in-chief.
The implications of Hur’s report have placed Democrats in a precarious position, with Jackson asserting that the decision not to prosecute Biden should not overshadow concerns about his mental and cognitive capabilities. Dr. Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon and former member of the Trump administration, echoed apprehensions about Biden’s mental acuity, questioning his ability to effectively lead amidst pressing national and global challenges.
Dr. Arthur Oliva, a psychiatric resident, expressed concern about Biden’s memory lapses and suggested Vice President Kamala Harris as a potential replacement on the Democratic ticket. He emphasized the severity of Biden’s recall issues, stating that it extends beyond typical speech gaffes, raising doubts about his capacity to fulfill the duties of the presidency.
Biden’s response to criticisms about his age and mental acuity has been defensive, asserting confidence in his capabilities while dismissing concerns raised by the media and political opponents. However, his hastily arranged White House appearance following the release of Hur’s report only served to fuel further scrutiny and skepticism.
The White House has pushed back against claims regarding Biden’s memory, attributing any lapses to the president’s focus on critical matters like the US response to international incidents. Concerns about Biden’s age have been compounded by reports of falls and precautions taken to mitigate risks, such as opting for smaller stairs and wearing sneakers for stability.
Calls for mental competency tests have not been confined to Biden’s critics, with potential 2024 opponents Donald Trump and Nikki Haley also advocating for such assessments. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democratic challenger, lamented the implications of Hur’s report, suggesting that it could sway the 2024 election in favor of Trump if Biden remains the Democratic nominee.