White House declares no cognitive test for Biden at his physical exam

Elon Musk, among the critics, expressed his astonishment at the decision, arguing that individuals granted the responsibility of handling the nation's arsenal ought to be subjected to routine evaluations of their mental health.

White House declares no cognitive test for Biden at his physical exam
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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The White House announced on Monday that President Joe Biden will not undergo a cognitive test during his forthcoming physical examination, a decision that has attracted significant criticism.

Elon Musk, among the critics, expressed his astonishment at the decision, arguing that individuals granted the responsibility of handling the nation's arsenal ought to be subjected to routine evaluations of their mental health.

"Passing a basic cognitive test should not be optional for someone who controls the nuclear football," Musk wrote on X.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre informed journalists that Dr. Kevin O'Conner, President Biden's doctor, sees no need for a cognitive assessment. She referenced the doctor's previous statement from last year, in which he expressed his confidence in the president's demonstrated cognitive capabilities "every day in how he operates and how he thinks, by dealing with world leaders, by making difficult decisions on behalf of the American people – whether it's domestic or it's national security."

"That is how Dr. O'Connor sees it," she added, "and that is how I'm going to leave it.

Questions about Biden's mental acuity have persisted for some time, but scrutiny intensified after the publication of a report by special counsel Robert Hur. The report highlighted that during his 2023 interviews, Biden exhibited a notably "limited" memory, heightening concerns regarding his cognitive health.

"We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory," the report stated.

"Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."

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