Watch: Parkinson’s specialist evaluated Joe Biden, White House admits (2024)

Questions have emerged over the impartiality of Joe Biden’s doctor after the White House was accused of stonewalling journalists over repeated visits by Dr Kevin Cannard, an expert in Parkinson’s disease.

Republicans in Congress have demanded that Dr Kevin O’Connor, the president’s personal physician, testify over his relationship to Mr Biden and why he has declined to order a cognitive test for the 81-year-old.

The scrutiny over Dr O’Connor’s position has increased since details of his past business dealings with the president’s brother emerged.

Dr Cannard performed neurological examinations on Mr Biden during the three annual check-ups he has received since becoming president, the White House said.

It comes as Mr Biden aims to reset his ailing re-election bid with what the White House termed a “big boy” press conference on Thursday to mark this week’s Nato summit.

The president’s team hopes the rare solo press conference will offer a chance to dispel concerns over his agility following a disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump last month.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said the president would field multiple questions from reporters as she responded to claims Mr Biden was being shielded from the press.

But her White House press briefing descended into a shouting match with reporters on Monday.

She said the check-ups found no signs of Parkinson’s but refused to go into further detail on Dr Cannard’s other recent visits to the White House complex, prompting testy exchanges with reporters.

Dr Cannard has visited the White House eight times from July 2023 to March this year, according to visitor logs, including one January meeting with the president’s personal doctor.

The press secretary described the probing questions as “inappropriate”, but suggested his visits might be connected to treating other government personnel.

Dr Cannard has been an on-call neurologist for the White House since 2012 and visited the Barack Obama White House at least 15 times between 2012 and 2013, according to visitor logs, and was twice signed in by Mr Obama’s doctor.

Mr Biden has not been evaluated for Parkinson’s, a neuro-degenerative condition which affects the brain, since February and never outside of the annual checks, the White House said.

However, medical experts have suggested the president has some symptoms consistent with Parkinson’s and there are calls for him to take a public test to demonstrate his ability to discharge his role as commander-in-chief.

Mr Biden hit back during a media blitz, calling in to MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday to insist that every day as president amounted to a neurological exam and said people questioning his fitness “drives me nuts”.

Dr O’Connor, the White House doctor, who met Dr Cannard in January, also released a letter to quash speculation over Mr Biden’s condition.

“President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical,” Dr O’Connor said, adding the “extremely detailed” exam had not detected any “central neurological disorder”.

However, Dr O’Connor’s “independence” has been questioned by Republicans in the House of Representatives, who cited “mixed and confused messaging” from the White House as they demanded he explain whether or not he can provide “accurate and independent” assessments of Mr Biden’s health.

A former army colonel on the White House medical staff, Dr O’Connor first acted as Mr Biden’s official government doctor while he was serving as Mr Obama’s vice president.

He also assisted in the treatment of Mr Biden’s eldest son, Beau, following his terminal brain cancer diagnosis.

The doctor described the Biden clan as “a really important part of my life” in a farewell letter when Mr Biden left the vice presidency in Jan 2017.

His contact with the Biden family did not end there, with Politico reporting Dr O’Connor assisted the president’s brother, Jim, with a business venture aimed at securing a US government contract in 2017.

He returned to the White House to serve as the president’s official doctor following his election in November 2020 and is responsible for declaring him “fit for duty” in his annual check-ups.

Two experts told Politico that Dr O’Connor’s intimate relationship with the Biden family posed questions over a potential conflict of interest.

Matthew Algeo, a historian and author, called it a “lose-lose situation”.

Dr Bert Park, an author and advocate for independent oversight of presidents’ health, said: “We cannot depend on the presidential physician to come clean”.

The White House has dismissed suggestions Dr O’Connor’s medical advice has been influenced by his business dealings with Jim Biden, calling it a “discredited conspiracy”.

Separately on Tuesday, it emerged a junior sailor attempted to access Mr Biden’s medical records three times on a government database.

The US Navy said the sailor had been disciplined but an investigation concluded the president’s medical information had not been compromised.

Watch: Parkinson’s specialist evaluated Joe Biden, White House admits (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated:

Views: 6468

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.