Biden’s Cognitive Fitness: A Growing Concern

It seems like we’re all asking ourselves, “what did he just say?” just about every single time President Biden opens his mouth these days. The most recent debate of course lit a flare under already burning concerns about his cognitive and mental health – no secret there. We were a bit surprised to see Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Chief Medical Correspondent over at CNN, come out and called for complete cognitive testing. Considering his status, the reactions from both sides of the aisle were swift and fierce – with of course some questioning his fitness and, as expected, others defending him.

The Debate Debacle

During the debate, Biden’s performance was marked by confused rambling, sudden loss of concentration, and a lack of facial animation, leading to what Gupta described as a “flat, open-mouthed expression.” These observations were not isolated incidents; Gupta noted that numerous medical colleagues had reached out to him, sharing similar concerns. While Gupta was careful to state that these were observations rather than a diagnosis, the consensus among his peers was clear: Biden should undergo comprehensive cognitive and movement disorder evaluations, with the results made public.

The White House Response

The White House has been quick to downplay these concerns, attributing Biden’s performance to a cold and dismissing the need for cognitive testing. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Biden’s medical team deemed such testing unnecessary at present. However, this response has done little to quell the growing unease among voters and medical professionals alike.

A Pattern of Decline?

This isn’t the first time Biden’s cognitive abilities have come under scrutiny. According to sources close to the president, there have been “15, 20 instances in the past year and a half” where Biden exhibited similar signs of cognitive decline (Fox News, 2024). These incidents, described by CNN’s Carl Bernstein, include struggles with maintaining his train of thought and signs of physical stiffness. Despite assertions of Biden’s competence in certain settings, such as national security meetings, there is a contrasting view among those close to him regarding his overall performance and well-being.

The Political Fallout

The aftermath of the debate has triggered a wave of apprehension within the media and even among some members of the Democratic Party. Renowned left-leaning outlets like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune have urged Biden to devise an exit plan, portraying him as a mere “shadow of a distinguished public servant.”

Despite mounting pressure, key Democratic figures such as former President Obama and First Lady Jill Biden have reiterated their unwavering support for Biden’s re-election bid. Similarly, other Democratic allies like California Governor Gavin Newsom and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer have remained steadfast in backing Biden’s campaign.

A Call for Transparency

Dr. Gupta’s call for cognitive testing is not without precedent. In 2008, Gupta was one of the doctors to review the medical records of Senator John McCain, who at 71 was seen as unusually elderly for a presidential candidate. McCain was given a clean bill of cognitive health and continued to serve in the Senate until his death in 2018 from glioblastoma (Daily Beast, 2024). Gupta’s intervention now carries significant weight, given his high profile and previous close ties to the Obama White House.

Gupta’s essay emphasizes the importance of transparency regarding the president’s health. He points out that advancements in dementia treatment and risk reduction have made early diagnosis and intervention more promising than ever before. Comprehensive testing can help distinguish between temporary factors like fatigue or jet lag and more profound underlying issues.

The Road Ahead

As the nation awaits the upcoming election, questions regarding Biden’s health and the need for transparent medical disclosures persist. While elected officials, including the president, are entitled to privacy regarding their health, the public interest in understanding their physical and cognitive well-being remains significant. Observing candidates on the campaign trail offers some insights, but comprehensive testing can provide a more definitive assessment of their health status.

We all know one thing to be true. This debate about Biden’s fitness and cognitive health? It isn’t going away anytime soon at all. At some point the White House will no longer be able to downplay the growing and insistent calls fo cognitive testing and truth and transparency in answering questions about what’s going on. The closer we get to the elections, the more insistent voters will become as well. All eyes will be on every public appearance Biden makes.

What do you think? Fan or not of the man himself, do you personally feel Biden has an issue? Should he agree to undergo testing? Better yet, should comprehensive testing be required for all presidential candidates going forward – and each year while in office? Let us know what you think.

Responses from Around the Web:

A lot of people are mad that he called for Biden to be tested, but not Trump:

Dr. Brian Goldman, also a medical correspondent, doesn’t think it is their jobs to call for anyone to be tested for anything:

Quote of the Day:

“The ability to ascribe thoughts to others, thoughts that might differ from our own, is a sophisticated cognitive skill, known as theory of mind.” ~Sy Montgomery

Joke of the Day:

I was worried that I hurt my brain…

…until I realized it was all in my head.