White House Dodges Questions Over Parkinson’s Doctor, Says Biden Is Fine

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden has not undergone any special neurological testing since his annual physical in February, his physician said as the administration looked to quell concerns about frequent visits to the White House by a Parkinson’s specialist.

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Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s physician, released a statement Monday night after questions from reporters about visitor logs which showed that Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, visited the White House eight times over the past year.

In the statement, O’Connor said he had obtained permission from Biden and Cannard to share more details. He said Cannard is a longstanding specialist who served as the neurologist in each of the president’s annual physicals and that his “findings have been made public each time I have released the results of the President’s annual physical.”

“President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical,” O’Connor added.

He added that Cannard regularly visits the White House campus to treat military members who serve there, some of whom have neurological issues related to their service. Cannard has seen patients at the White House for a dozen years, because of his expertise with a variety of conditions, O’Connor wrote.

Questions about Cannard’s visits dominated the press briefing earlier Monday, as Biden is seeking to shore up support from anxious Democrats. Biden’s stilted debate performance against Republican Donald Trump spurred questions about his mental acuity, prompting some congressional Democrats to call on the 81-year-old president to drop out of the race.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to say why the specialist had made multiple trips despite repeated questions from reporters — but she stressed that Biden was not undergoing treatment.

“Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No, he’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s. No,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Jean-Pierre insisted the White House was not hiding health information about Biden, suggesting that her hands were tied from revealing further details because military personnel stationed there also received care from the medical unit.

“I’m trying to answer the question so you can connect the dot that there are multiple neurologists that come — not neurologists, specialists — that come through here, because there about, like, more than 1,000 military personnel here,” Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre said there are no plans for Biden to take another annual physical before next year, which would fall after the election.

Earlier: Biden to Meet Black Lawmakers, Pushes to Quash Democratic Revolt

Biden was asked directly if he had been tested for any age-related illnesses, including Parkinson’s, during an interview on MSNBC earlier Monday and laughed. He mentioned his neurological exam earlier this year, and said that every day in his job was a test of his acuity.

“Let me put it this way – if there was something that was wrong that night, it’s not like it comes and that’s one night and goes away,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been out, I’m testing myself and testing everywhere I go, going out and making the case.”

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