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Drug Test Controversy Lingers in Run-Up to Presidential Debate

 June 28, 2024

Amid the intensifying atmosphere of Thursday's presidential debate, Donald Trump threw a contentious curveball into the mix by proposing drug tests for both himself and Joe Biden.

The allegations from Trump about Biden possibly using performance-enhancing drugs sparked a heated debate from medical experts and campaign representatives, as the Daily Mail reports.

The controversy started when Donald Trump insinuated that Joe Biden could be under the influence of pharmaceuticals during their Thursday 90-minute showdown.

This claim is not new to Trump's strategy, as similar allegations were made against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and against Biden in the 2020 elections.

Trump's Call for Drug Tests Raises Eyebrows

Following his claims, Trump openly called for both candidates to undergo drug testing before Thursday's debate, a statement that quickly circulated through media outlets.

"Drug test for crooked Joe Biden? I would also, immediately agree to one," declared Trump, intensifying the pre-debate drama.

In support of Trump's demand, Ronny Jackson, a Republican congressman and staunch Trump advocate, echoed the need for Biden to be tested by the White House doctor, amplifying the suspicions already cast by Trump.

Reactions From Biden Campaign and Experts

The Biden campaign was quick to dismiss these demands. Adrienne Elrod, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, labeled them as "silly," emphasizing the recurrent nature of such claims by Trump. This sentiment reflects the campaign's stance on addressing what they consider unfounded and repetitive accusations.

Medical experts have also weighed in on the debate. Dr. Carole Lieberman criticized the idea of using heavy pharmaceutical stimulants, explaining that such substances could dangerously elevate heart rate and blood pressure.

She specifically noted that "Pharmaceutical stimulants like Adderall risk elevating heart rates and blood pressure to dangerous levels," underscoring the potential medical implications for Biden.

Health Concerns and Professional Insights

Adding to the concerns about potential drug use, Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk warned against the application of Adderall for both Biden and Trump, focusing especially on the risks posed to older individuals.

Landsverk advised against such stimulants, suggesting that "Instead of enhancing their debate skills, taking stimulants of this type will diminish their performance," proposing natural alternatives like a brisk walk or a good night's sleep prior to the debate.

Brett O'Donnell, a seasoned Republican consultant, shared insights from his experiences, noting that while some political candidates opt for natural enhancers like vitamin B-12 injections or bee pollen, he doubts these have significant effects on enhancing debate performance.

Exploring Safer Alternatives

Joe Rogan's suggestion of using cognitive enhancers such as Adderall, testosterone, and human growth hormone for Biden was met with skepticism from professionals who emphasized the risks over any potential benefits. Dr. Lieberman also dismissed the use of modafinil, a medication for sleep disorders, equating it to "using a hammer to kill a fly" when used for treating moderate sleep conditions like Biden's sleep apnea.

President Biden, as reported by his physician Kevin O'Connor, indeed uses a continuous positive airway pressure machine for sleep apnea, shedding light on his personal approach to managing his health, which aligns more with standard medical protocols than the debated pharmaceutical enhancements.

Public and Professional Perspectives on Debate Readiness

The debate over cognitive enhancers and their role in political performances continued as both camps prepared for the debate. At the same time, the Trump camp maintained its position on the necessity for drug testing, health experts, and the Biden campaign advocate for more conventional, safer approaches to debate preparation.

This complex interplay between political strategy and health advice reveals the multifaceted nature of preparing for such high-stakes events, where performance is scrutinized under the national spotlight.

In conclusion, as the debate neared, the issue of potential performance-enhancing drug use remained a polarizing topic. The suggestions of pharmaceutical interventions have been largely criticized by health experts, who advocate for natural preparations.