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Biden on Cognitive Test: 'No One Said I Had To'

 July 6, 2024

President Joe Biden deflected multiple questions regarding whether he would take a neurological test during his first sit-down interview since a presidential debate performance that drew criticism.

The interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, which aired Friday evening, tackled issues surrounding Biden's age and mental fitness, with Biden maintaining that his daily cognitive engagements demonstrate his capability to remain in office, as Fox News reports.

President Avoids Direct Response

In the interview, Stephanopoulos queried Biden three times about undergoing a full neurological and cognitive evaluation. Each time, Biden dismissed the insinuation that such an evaluation was required or necessary for him.

"I get a full neurological test every day with me," Biden remarked, noting the various cognitive responsibilities inherent in his presidential duties.

Referring to his recent medical check-up, he shared, "I've had a full physical. … I've been to Walter Reed for my physicals."

Clarification on Cognitive Tests

Stephanopoulos pressed Biden again about having a specific cognitive test and examination by a neurologist, probing whether these results would be released. Biden refuted the need, stating, "No, no one said I had to. … They said I'm good."

Emphasizing his continuous cognitive engagement, Biden reiterated, "Look, I have a cognitive test every single day." He highlighted his various interactions and decision-making processes as proof of his mental fitness, indicating the high-stakes responsibilities he fulfills daily.

Concerns Following Debate Performance

This extensive interview came after Biden's lackluster performance against former President Donald Trump in a recent debate.

During the debate, Biden stumbled over his words, lost his train of thought, and spoke in a raspy voice, prompting concerns about his cognitive sharpness and calls from some Democratic allies for him to reconsider his candidacy.

Biden reflected on his debate performance, attributing it to exhaustion and inadequate preparation. He candidly admitted, "No indication of a serious condition. I was exhausted," and took personal responsibility for the mishap, stating, "The whole way I prepared -- nobody's fault. Mine. Nobody's fault but mine."

Daily Cognitive Challenges

Highlighting the demanding nature of his role, Biden provided examples of his ongoing responsibilities, including international diplomacy and strategic decisions. "Every day I have that test. Everything I do," he explained, illustrating the frequent high-level interactions and critical decisions he navigates.

He elaborated on his recent engagements, mentioning discussions with key international leaders. "For example, today, before I come out here -- I'm on the phone with the prime minister of… Well anyway, I shouldn't get into detail, but with Netanyahu. I'm on the phone with the new prime minister of England."

Administration's Stance

Despite the mounting scrutiny and calls for a different nominee, Biden and his administration remain firm on his continued candidacy. He asserted his readiness and capacity to handle presidential duties, supported by his administration’s assessment of his health and mental fitness.

Biden emphasized the routine nature of his cognitive tests through his daily engagements, underscoring the importance of these ongoing responsibilities. His administration is confident that his actions demonstrate the cognitive capabilities necessary for his role as the leader of the free world.

Summary of Events

In conclusion, President Biden's interview with George Stephanopoulos showcased his dismissal of the necessity for a neurological test, focusing instead on his daily cognitive challenges as adequate proof of his mental fitness.

The exchange highlighted concerns following a recent debate performance, touched on his physical health, and provided an insight into his daily responsibilities that support his stance of being fit for the presidency.

Despite the scrutiny, Biden remains determined to stay in the race, backed by his administration’s confidence in his abilities.

Biden's management of international relations and daily high-stakes decisions exemplifies the mental rigor he claims to undertake constantly. While acknowledging past shortcomings, he steadfastly conveys his readiness to continue leading the nation.