Karine Jean-Pierre says Biden isn’t being treated for Parkinson’s

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

In a clear denial, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has claimed President Joe Biden is not undergoing treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The assertion comes amid inquiries sparked by a concerning debate performance and the frequent visits of a Parkinson’s specialist to the White House, revealed through visitor logs and reports.

Speaking to journalists, Jean-Pierre stressed that Biden is neither being treated for Parkinson’s disease nor taking any related medication during a press briefing that addressed the swirling health concerns about the 81-year-old president, The Daily Wire reported.

A series of reports highlighted the multiple visits by Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist specializing in movement disorders, to the White House, adding to speculations about the president’s health following a notably weak performance at the first presidential debate and subsequent public appearances and persistent gaffes while speaking, such as saying he was the "first black woman to serve with a black president," and that voters in Philadelphia "got me across the line” to win his Senate races in Delaware. 

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According to visitor logs cited by The Washington Times on Monday, Dr. Cannard has made 10 visits to the White House Medical Unit since November 2022, with the most recent visit recorded on March 28. The logs, last updated on July 1, detail his initial visit on Nov. 15, 2022, which included a meeting with Dr. Joshua Simmons, an emergency medicine specialist from Walter Reed and the William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

The specific reasons for Dr. Cannard’s visits have not been disclosed in the logs, leaving it unclear whether they were directly related to the president’s health.

“A wide variety of specialists from the Walter Reed system visit the White House complex to treat thousands of military personnel who work on the grounds,” the White House said in a statement Monday.

Visitor logs show that Cannard’s interactions at the White House included meetings with other medical personnel, such as Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor and cardiologist Dr. John Atwood. These meetings, according to the logs, sometimes coincided with Biden’s scheduled physical exams.

Jean-Pierre said Biden has consulted with a neurologist three times during his presidency as part of his annual physicals, reinforcing that none of these consultations presented any indications of Parkinson’s or similar neurological conditions.

According to the results from a physical exam conducted on Feb. 28, which were made public by the White House, Biden’s health was thoroughly evaluated, showing no signs of such diseases, The Hill noted.

The inquiries into Biden’s health are not just confined to the nature of Cannard’s visits but also touch on concerns about the president’s capability to manage his duties. The press secretary consistently refused to confirm specifics about Cannard’s visits or disclose whom the neurologist was meeting, citing privacy and security concerns.

During interactions with the press, Jean-Pierre firmly rebutted questions about Biden’s mental and physical fitness. She noted that regular health checks, including detailed neurological assessments, have been part of the president’s routine medical care, which found him fit for office.

Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner reported Monday that Dr. Cannard has been making small contributions to Biden’s campaign since February 2020, according to Federal Election Commission filings. These contributions, totaling over $3,300 across 44 donations, averaging $77 each, continued up to May 30. This financial support, though small, is under scrutiny as Republican lawmakers question Biden’s fitness for the presidency and raise concerns about potential bias in his medical assessments by Dr. Kevin O’Connor.

“Given that the Parkinson’s disease expert who met with Dr. O’Connor is a Biden donor, Americans should be rightly troubled by the potential clouding of the validity of both the President’s medical assessments and mental state,” Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Georgia, was quoted as saying. “These medical professionals should be open and forthright with the American people and not be attempting to score political points by concealing vital information about the health of our commander-in-chief.”

Despite the press secretary’s clarifications and the details provided in the physical exam reports, debates and speculations about Biden’s health continue to surface, especially as the president faces criticism over his public appearances. As Biden prepares for the upcoming election cycle, some Democratic leaders are reportedly uncertain about his candidacy for another term.

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