Medical professionals have stepped up calls for President Biden to take a mental competency test after Thursday’s blistering report from special counsel Robert Hur revealed the 81-year-old can’t remember basic facts about his own life and career.
The Hur report, released Thursday, assessed Biden as too senile to be prosecuted over his wrongful retention of classified documents and noted the commander-in-chief “did not remember when he was vice president” and “did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died” over two days of interviews in October.
“Something isn’t right, and even if it’s minor, it must be explained to the public,” Dr. Stuart Fischer, a primary care physician at a nursing home in the Bronx, told The Post.
“The horse is out of the barn. Not only does [Biden] have an infirmity of some degree, but he has delayed producing objective evidence,” the internal medical expert added, arguing “no one is buying” the president’s defenses about his memory.
Despite being the oldest president in US history, Biden has refused to take mental acuity tests despite repeated calls to do so from his critics — as well as consistent polling showing a majority of Americans share those concerns.
The results of Biden’s most recent physical exam, released by the White House in February of last year, described the chief executive as “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” but made no mention of a cognitive test or an assessment of his mental fitness.
Biden has “signs of symptoms” that could indicate he suffers from “infectious disease or fatigue,” added Fischer, who stressed that he is not Biden’s doctor and his statements did not constitute a diagnosis.
“I don’t know how this man can have anything more than a mild schedule,” added the doc, “because the more he pushes himself, the more difficult it is for an 81-year-old body to respond.”
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), a physician to both former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump and member of the White House Medical Unit under President George W. Bush, told The Post that if Biden clinches the Democratic presidential nomination he should “100%” have to submit to a mental competency test before the general election.
“He doesn’t need a [cognitive] screening test,” Jackson said. “He needs an actual cognitive battery of tests, objectively done, put on paper, and briefed to the American people by his physician.”
“I’m not making a diagnosis. And I’m not saying the guy has Alzheimer’s or multi-infarct dementia or Parkinson’s or anything else,” he clarified. “This guy has cognitive issues related to his age: he shuffles when he walks, he slurs his speech, he forgets where he’s at, what he’s doing, he can’t remember names, he can’t remember dates — that is not someone that should be in control of the nuclear codes in this country and controlling our fate overseas.”
“I’ve been saying since he was candidate Joe Biden: This man does not have the cognitive wherewithal or ability to be our head of state,” added Jackson, who went on to describe the president’s recent confusion of European leaders with their dead predecessors as “super concerning.”
Hur’s report has also put Democrats in the unenviable spot of having to defend Biden’s ability to hold office based on the decision not to charge him while ignoring the reason for that, according to Jackson, namely that “he is too mentally and cognitively incompetent to stand trial.”
Joe Biden’s classified documents probe report
- Special counsel Robert Hur determined that President Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials” after leaving office as vice president in 2016.
- The records kept by Biden included documents on military and foreign policy in Afghanistan as well as other national security and foreign policy issues.
- Biden kept the classified documents in part to assist with the writing of his memoirs. According to the report, Biden told a ghostwriter in a 2017 conversation that he had “just found all the classified stuff downstairs.”
- Despite the findings, Hur’s 388-page report recommended that the president not face charges.
- The special counsel noted that Biden would likely present himself to a jury as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” if he were to face trial.
“If you’re too incompetent and too cognitively impaired because of your age to defend yourself from these charges — if he’s charged — then it absolutely, positively, goes without saying you should not be the commander-in-chief,” added the lawmaker.
Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Donald Trump, also expressed concern about Biden’s health to The Post.
“As someone who knows a thing or two about the human brain, Joe Biden’s mental decline has been obvious for several years,” Carlson said. “Yesterday’s report, last night’s press conference, and the current state of the union further proves that point. Our southern border is under siege, there are two major global conflicts taking place, and our judicial system has become a weaponized arm of the President’s campaign. Americans should be asking, who is running the country?”
Carson has previously stated he believes Biden has signs of dementia, given the president’s aggressive demeanor, apparent confusion and issues with his speech.
Dr. Arthur Oliva, a psychiatrist resident at the University of Louisville, wrote on X that, as a Democrat, he was “concerned” about Hur’s report and argued that VP Kamala Harris would be the best option to replace Biden on the Democratic ticket.
“This is the most concerning news I’ve heard about Biden’s memory. Making gaffes during speeches or stumbling over words is one thing, but his is legitimately bad recall,” Oliva wrote. “Typically people’s short term memory is lost first, but having recall issues with when he’s VP is bad.”
Biden has often lashed out, publicly and privately, about the issue of his age, repeating that the American people should “watch him” when deciding whether he’s mentally fit for office.
Thursday night, Biden made a hastily scheduled White House appearance to respond to the Hur report, snapping at the assembled press as he attempted to defend his mental state.
“My memory is fine,” Biden lashed out at one reporter, telling another: “My memory is so bad, I let you speak.”
“I am well-meaning, and I’m an elderly man and I know what the hell I’m doing,” the president added.
The White House has argued Hur’s claims about Biden’s memory are “inaccurate,” and that the commander-in-chief had been preoccupied with the US response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which happened one day before the president first sat down with the special counsel’s interviewers.
Concerns about Biden’s age have not been limited to his memory.
The president has suffered several falls during his time in office, including taking a tumble on stage at the Air Force Academy’s commencement exercises in Colorado and falling off his bike on vacation in Delaware.
Reports also indicate Biden has opted to take the small stairs when embarking Air Force One to avoid potential slips, and has chosen to wear sneakers for extra comfort in recent months.
Biden’s potential 2024 opponents Donald Trump, 77, and Nikki Haley, 52, have long called for politicians to take mental competency tests, and the Hur report prompted them to restate those demands.
“Biden’s not going to be any sharper in November,” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told The Post, while Haley released a video highlighting South Carolinians agreeing with her push for mental competency tests for politicians over age 75.
Another Biden 2024 challenger, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), whose primary campaign has centered on Biden’s mental decline, said called Thursday “another sad day for America and particularly for President Biden and his family.”
“Already facing the lowest approval numbers in modern history and losing in each of the key battleground states, this Report has all but handed the 2024 election to Donald Trump if Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee,” Phillips said in a statement to The Post, “and I invite fellow Democrats to face the truth.”