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GOP Congressman, a former doctor, says Biden should undergo cognitive testing

By Sarah May on
 March 28, 2023

As President Joe Biden continues to delay the launch of a 2024 reelection campaign, concerns about his cognitive condition show no signs of abating, with Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) – himself a former physician – having added his name to the list of those urging the commander in chief to undergo testing to determine his fitness for office, as the Daily Mail has reported.

The lawmaker explained his position to the Washington Examiner earlier this year and argued that the American people deserve to have a complete picture of the president's mental capacity before deciding who should hold the highest office in the land.

DesJarlais urges cognitive exam

Biden's history of very public mental misfires, bouts of confusion, and gaffe-prone behavior have long prompted speculation about the possible onset of dementia, and according to DesJarlais, it is past time for an official assessment of the president's true condition.

“I think it would be important to see a very thorough and comprehensive cognitive function study that is released with transparency to the general public,” opined DesJarlais.

In support of that contention, DesJarlais added, “The American people want to know that their commander in chief is fully capable of performing at the highest level to protect the safety and security of the nation.”

Though the congressman had hoped that cognitive testing would have been part of the president's annual physical examination in February, but no indication that it was indeed included emerged in the official report released by the White House, in which Biden was broadly declared fit to carry out his duties.

Jackson echoes concerns

Another legislator who has long advocated for Biden to undergo a comprehensive cognitive assessment is Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX-13), who also served as White House physician during the Obama and Trump administrations.

Jackson has been extremely outspoken in his concerns over Biden's mental acuity, sending formal letters to the White House on multiple occasions, which he says have gone unanswered.

Not holding back in his suspicion that Biden is in the grips of serious decline and “not fit to be our president,” Jackson said last year, “The whole country is seeing his mental cognitive issues on display for over a year now, and there's really no question in most people's minds that there's something going on with him, that he's not cognitively the same as he used to be.”

Lamenting the lengths to which he assumed the current administration would go to obfuscate Biden's condition, Jackson said ahead of the president's most recent physical, “They are going to be asked, 'Did he get a cognitive exam done?' The answer is going to be no because either they're not going to do a cognitive exam or they're going to do one and not let the American people know what the results were.”

Transparency demands grow

Also expressing concerns about Biden's age and cognitive status ahead of a potential reelection bid was Dr. David Scheiner, former physician to Barack Obama, who emphasized, as the Washington Examiner noted, “By the time he completes [a second term], he'll be 86 years old; I don't care if he's in perfect health now – which I can't believe he's in perfect health. He's had too many things in his past history.”

“Biden had an aneurysm repaired. When you do work on the brain, there's always a little damage done,” Scheiner noted, referencing the president's past health woes. “He's had that atrial fibrillation – that can sometimes throw off small strokes. They're leaving a whole area of concern in my mind.”

Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel has also shared those worries, pointing out prior to Biden's recent exam that if past history was any indication, the latest report on the president's health was likely to have serious and troubling gaps in the realm likely of greatest concern to most voters.

Lamenting that insufficient detail was included in prior White House reports on acknowledged health issues such as a change in the president's gait, Siegel said, “I want more information. I want to know what the MRIs show, and I want to know what the nerve conduction EMG shoes to rule out things that are more extensive, that by the way, can be associated with cognitive changes like mental status, like dementia.”

Latest gaffes amplify alarm

DesJarlais, Jackson, Scheiner, Siegel and others were likely disappointed with the lack of insights in Biden's most recent examination reports, and the president's recent public appearances have done little to quell suspicions of confusion and decline.

Just last week, during an official state visit to Canada, Biden addressed parliament in Ottawa and mistakenly lauded “China,” when he meant to praise “Canada,” only to attempt an awkward recovery by saying, “You can tell what I'm thinking about China. I won't get into that yet.”

On Monday, Biden delivered another public appearance slammed as tone-deaf and bafflingly inappropriate in the immediate aftermath of a school shooting in Nashville that left six victims dead, including three children, as Fox News noted.

Before even touching on the unspeakable tragedy, Biden jocularly introduced himself as “Dr. Jill Biden's husband” and riffed on his “refrigerator full” of ice cream, doing little to dispel doubts about the president's ability to effectively lead the country, particularly as he moves even further into his 80s.