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CNN's Sanjay Gupta Advises Detailed Cognitive Tests for Biden

 July 7, 2024

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, raised concerns about President Joe Biden's cognitive health following his recent debate performance and has made suggestions about what should come next.

On CNN's Newsroom last Friday, Gupta discussed his observations from President Biden's latest debate performance, noting issues with Biden's speech, including slowness and occasional confusion, which he believes warrant further formal testing, as Breitbart reports.

Despite Biden undergoing a comprehensive medical examination earlier this year, which reportedly involved a number of specialists, no cognitive tests were conducted. Gupta emphasized the importance of these tests, given the symptoms observed.

Dr. Gupta Analyzes President's Debate Performance

During the discussion, Gupta pointed out specific signs of potential cognitive decline. He described Biden's speech as sometimes slow and halting, with instances of what he referred to as "confused ramblings."

The absence of cognitive testing during Biden's medical examination was a key issue for Gupta. He suggested that such testing could provide insights into Biden's condition, potentially leading to beneficial interventions.

Gupta argued that it's essential to understand the underlying causes of these symptoms, which could range from normal aging to more serious neurological conditions.

Recent Medical Examination Lacks Cognitive Assessment

Biden's recent medical check-up was detailed, involving neurologists among other specialists, and reportedly confirmed that he has not suffered from stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's disease. However, it did not include an assessment of his cognitive abilities.

This omission has raised questions about the thoroughness of the health evaluations presidents typically undergo. Gupta noted that while the physical exam was extensive, the lack of cognitive testing was a significant gap.

He specifically highlighted that Parkinson’s disease, a common cause of Parkinsonism, was ruled out, yet other causes were not definitively excluded from Biden's diagnosis.

Implications of Omitting Cognitive Tests

Gupta expressed concern over the absence of a cognitive assessment in the president’s health review. He stated, "Well, we know that it did not include a cognitive test, something that we look for, and the White House was asked about that, and the response was the doctor said that there was no need for any kind of cognitive test."

He further elaborated on the comprehensive nature of the exam but reiterated the necessity for cognitive testing, not only to diagnose potential cognitive decline but also to rule out other movement disorders.

According to Gupta, understanding the full spectrum of the president’s health is crucial, particularly when unexplained symptoms such as those observed are present.

Gupta Advocates for Further Testing

Gupta strongly advocated for detailed cognitive testing for President Biden, comparing the situation to what he would recommend for his own father under similar circumstances. "Some of the signs that we saw that people observed during the debate, the slowness of speech, the halting of speech, sometimes a confused rambling again, these are types of things that can be explained by lots of different things and you cannot make a diagnosis simply by observation. But that’s why it may warrant more testing," Gupta explained.

He emphasized that further testing could potentially lead to interventions that might improve the President’s cognitive functions or manage any underlying conditions effectively.

The call for more detailed testing stems from a proactive approach to health management, particularly for someone in such a critical position as that of president.

The Potential Impact of Cognitive Issues in Leadership

The discussion of cognitive health is especially pertinent given the demanding nature of the presidency. Cognitive functions are essential for decision-making and effective communication, skills paramount for a president.

Gupta's call for cognitive testing underscores the broader implications of health issues in leadership, reflecting on how they can affect governance and public confidence.

While the White House has not scheduled such testing, the conversation initiated by Gupta's observations could influence public and professional discourse on health transparency in political leaders.

In conclusion, Dr. Sanjay Gupta's comments bring to light important considerations regarding President Joe Biden's cognitive health. By advocating for comprehensive cognitive testing, Gupta not only addresses potential health concerns but also highlights the need for transparency and thoroughness in monitoring the health of public figures. His insights stress the importance of a holistic approach to medical evaluations, especially for individuals in high-stakes roles.