White House dodges questions over Parkinson’s doctor, says Joe Biden is fine

US President Joe Biden’s top spokeswoman declined to say why a Parkinson’s specialist met multiple times with the White House doctor, but stressed that the president was not being treated for that or any other neurological diseases.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stonewalled reporters on Monday who peppered her with questions about logs showing that Dr Kevin Cannard, a neurologist from Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre, visited the White House eight times over the past year.

She said Biden had been screened by a neurologist during each of his three annual physical exams and doctors did not find any signs consistent with central neurological disorders.

“Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No, he’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s. No,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.

The tense exchanges dominated her daily press briefing as Biden sought to shore up support from anxious Democrats.

US President Joe Biden on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

Jean-Pierre said she was unable to confirm the presence of any medical specialists at the White House, pointing to “security reasons”, and she refused to say if Cannard’s visits were connected to Biden.

Questions about Biden’s mental acuity have flooded the national conversation since his stilted debate performance, prompting some congressional Democrats to call on the 81-year-old president to drop out of the race.

Jean-Pierre insisted the White House was not hiding health information about Biden, suggesting that her hands were tied from revealing further details because military personnel stationed at the White House also received care from the White House’s medical unit.

“I’m trying to answer the question so you can connect the dot that there are multiple neurologists that come – not neurologists, specialists – that come through here, because there about, like, more than 1,000 military personnel here,” Jean-Pierre said.

Biden was asked directly if he had been tested for any age-related illnesses, including Parkinson’s, during an interview on MSNBC earlier Monday and laughed.

He mentioned his neurological exam earlier this year, and said that every day in his job was a test of his acuity.

“Let me put it this way – if there was something that was wrong that night, it’s not like it comes and that’s one night and goes away,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been out, I’m testing myself and testing everywhere I go, going out and making the case.”



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