OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
President Joe Biden recently had a physical at Walter Reed Medical Center that involved briefly transferring power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he went under anesthesia for a colonoscopy.
However, that wasn’t the most remarkable aspect of the physical, apparently.
While Biden’s physical and mental health issues have been a concern for many Americans — he is, after all, the country’s oldest serving president at 79 — his physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, essentially gave the president a clean bill of health after consulting with a number of other specialists at Walter Reed, including optometrists, dentists, ENT specialists, cardiologists, neurologists, and gastroenterologists.
But that doesn’t mean that O’Connor did not have any concerns.
For one, O’Connor noted that Biden experiences a “pronounced” cough that he felt bore mentioning.
“The President has experienced increasing frequency and severity of ‘throat clearing’ and coughing during speaking engagements. He has exhibited such symptoms for as long as I have known him, but they certainly seem to be more frequent and more pronounced over the last few months,” the physician noted in a memo to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
“It is acknowledged that this perception may be artificially confounded by the undeniable fact that, as President, a much greater attention is directed toward his public engagements as compared to that which he experienced in previous positions,” the memo continued.
“Nevertheless, this symptom is clearly present, and warranted detailed investigation.”
The Western Journal adds:
After consultations with specialists in gastroenterology and otolaryngology and a number of tests, O’Connor concluded that the throat clearing is likely attributed to gastroesophageal reflux. Biden is already taking acid blockers for reflux, so the physician deemed no further treatment was recommended.
Secondly, O’Connor noted that Biden’s gait is much stiffer than ever.
“The President’s ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago. He has several reasonable explanations for this in his orthopedic history, but again, a detailed investigation was appropriate,” O’Connor noted.
After he consulted with specialists in orthopedics, neurology, radiology and physical therapy, the White House physician and his team reached the conclusion that advancing spinal arthritis and “limp and compensation” from a broken foot Biden experienced last year are causing the stiffer gait.
Noticeably absent from the physical made public by O’Connor, however, was any mention of Biden’s mental status, which has drawn the most concern from Americans, by far.
This missing element was confounding to a number of experts including Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a medical contributor to CNN. He was asked on the air following Biden’s physical why he wasn’t given the kind of mental exam then-White House physician Dr. Ronnie Jackson administered to then-President Donald Trump (who aced the test, by the way).
“I read pretty carefully through the doctor’s report, and there was, they mentioned neurological exam, but that was more in terms of testing motor strength and sensation and things like that,” Gupta said.
“President Trump had something known as the Montreal cognitive assessment. It’s sort of a screening test for dementia. And, you know, that there was no mention of that sort of thing here. It is a constant point of discussion,” Gupta continued, according to The Daily Wire.
“I can tell you within the geriatrics community, I wrote this book last year about brain health, and one of the things that kept coming up was, should sort of these types of screening tests, cognitive screening tests, be more commonly done?” Gupta said.
“And there’s many in that community who believe starting at age 65, there should be some sort of screening that’s done. Dr. Ronald Peterson, who runs the Alzheimer’s clinic at Mayo, has been somebody who talked about that. But as far as we know, for President Biden, we didn’t see any kind of tests like that performed.”
Jackson, now a GOP congressman from Texas, has said for months he believes Biden’s mental acuity is declining.
“All I know is that he’s got age-related cognitive decline, right,” Jackson said earlier this month. “He is not mentally fit right now. He’s 78 years old and you can see it. You don’t need to be a physician to look at him and to look at his behavior and some of the other stuff, just the way he shuffles away, stares off into space.”
He added: “I know what that job entails, both physically and mentally, and how demanding it is. And I can tell you right now, I’m 100% sure that Joe Biden is incapable of doing that job.”