Politics

Biden’s physician says neurologist visited White House as part of annual examinations

President Biden’s physician said a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders visited the White House as part of his annual physical examinations amid concerns over the president’s health and mental acuity.

In a letter released Monday night, White House physician Kevin O’Connor said Dr. Kevin Cannard was chosen for Biden’s annual physicals ‘not because he is a movement disorder specialist, but because he is a highly trained and highly regarded neurologist here at Walter Reed and across the Military Health System, with a very wide expertise which makes him flexible to see a variety of patients and problems.’

The president did not see a neurologist outside his annual physicals, the letter stated.

O’Connor said he received permission from Biden and Cannard to release the neurologist’s identity and the nature of his visits.

‘To protect patient privacy for the thousands of patients of the White House Medical Unit and the physicians who treat them, normally we do not disclose the names of specialists we work with,’ the letter reads.

No signs of neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, ascending lateral sclerosis, stroke or cervical myelopathy, were found during Biden’s physical in February, O’Connor said. 

He redirected to his Feb. 28 letter where he said ‘an extremely detailed neurologic exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder.’

This comes after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at a news briefing earlier on Monday that she would not identify Cannard or share details surrounding his White House visits for privacy purposes. Though she did say Biden has an annual physical evaluation that includes seeing a neurologist and pointed out that the results have been publicly shared.

The letter from O’Connor also highlighted that the results of Biden’s annual physicals have been made public each time.

Concerns surrounding Biden’s cognitive abilities continued to rise following news of visits to the White House by a Parkinson’s disease expert. The New York Post reported that a Parkinson’s expert from Walter Reed visited the White House at least eight times in an eight-month period, including for a Jan. 17 meeting with O’Connor.

O’Connor’s letter laid out Cannard’s background as a neurology specialist and explained that he has been the neurology consultant to the White House Medical Unit since 2012. It also stated that Cannard has examined Biden for each of his annual physicals, including his most recent one in February.

Before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Cannard held regular neurology clinics at the White House medical clinic for the thousands of active-duty military members assigned to support White House operations, the letter said, noting that many military personnel experience neurological issues in connection with their service.

Questions about Biden’s health and mental fitness were amplified following his shaky debate performance last month against former President Trump, which prompted several Democrats’ calls for Biden to exit the presidential race. Others in the party remain vocal about their continued support for the president’s re-election campaign.

Biden has repeatedly said since the debate that he plans to remain in the race as he seeks to defeat Trump for a second time in November. 

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