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The White House pushed for Biden’s physical after missing the January deadline

The White House pushed for Biden’s physical after missing the January deadline

President Joe Biden is touring the country to promote his record and raise money ahead of a likely 2024 re-election announcement following his State of the Union address next month.

But amid the controversy over Biden’s classified documents, the White House is under pressure to also be transparent about the president’s health, as the longest-serving commander-in-chief would be 82 in his second inauguration if he secures another term next year


Biden’s 2022 physical, which was moved to 2023, has given Republicans more opportunities to criticize him for his age and health ahead of an expected re-election bid.

For example, Biden’s public missteps in the first two years of his presidency are “certainly” cause for concern, according to Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), a former family medicine physician before being elected to Congress in 2010 .

“I think it would be important to see a very comprehensive and comprehensive study of cognitive function that is transparently released to the general public,” DesJarlais told the Washington Examiner. “The American people want to know that their commander in chief is fully capable of performing at the highest level to protect the safety and security of our nation.”

Republicans have also linked complaints about delays in Biden’s physical to transparency concerns stemming from the discovery of classified documents at his Washington, D.C., think tank last November, a development that was not made public until this month, days before Attorney General Merrick. Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the case.

“Seriously, where is Biden? There are no press interviews, the White House press secretary has no credibility, and the administration is dodging, deflecting and delaying issues that deserve full transparency,” said a senior Republican official . “The American people deserve better than Biden’s dishonesty and evasion.”

More broadly, “secrecy” about a president’s health “is more often the norm than one might think,” according to historian David Pietrusza. The author cited Grover Cleveland’s silent cancer operation to Woodrow Wilson’s pre-White House stroke and failing eyesight as examples.

“[Franklin Roosevelt’s] The illness was, of course, downplayed to an immense extent,” said Pietrusza. “After his ascension to the presidency, efforts to conceal his paralysis had gone to truly remarkable lengths.”

Former President Donald Trump most recently came under scrutiny for allegedly dictating a statement released by his 2016 campaign about his 2015 physical.

“If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Dr. Harold Bornstein, a gastroenterologist, wrote at the time.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has been asked six times this month about Biden’s physical. In response, Jean-Pierre has emphasized Biden’s commitment to transparency, describing White House physician Kevin O’Connor’s 2021 memorandum on the president’s health as “very extensive.” O’Connor, Biden’s primary care physician for 13 years, has been questioned, along with the White House communications team, for not directly informing reporters when the commander in chief had COVID-19 on last summer

“He will have one before … when the end of this month is over,” Jean-Pierre told reporters about Biden’s physical. “He…we’ll share the information. We’ll have more to share before the month is out.”

Confusion over his physical has been compounded by Biden. First, the president told reporters last Thanksgiving that “part” of his annual review was “already done” and that he would complete it “before the end of the year.” He also spent more than eight hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this month when he accompanied first lady Jill Biden to the facility so she could have two cancerous skin lesions removed.

“If you saw the president in November, you saw that he traveled to Indonesia, Cambodia, North Africa,” Jean-Pierre said during a separate briefing. “He traveled all over the country. And so he had a very busy schedule.”

“I think that plays into what his doctors have said, doesn’t it?” she added. “His doctor has said that… he is in good health, he is very well, and that [he] leads an active life, as we saw in November and December.”

Meanwhile, Joe Biden will be on the road this week promoting his bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure bill, making stops in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania, with fundraisers in New York City and Philadelphia. The itinerary is being seen as a prelude to traditional post-State of the Union trips and an early re-election push.

The president revealed his latest physical on November 19, 2021, updating the health information he previously released in December 2019.

O’Connor’s six-page report detailed Joe Biden’s irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, acid reflux, seasonal allergies, spinal arthritis and a feeling of cold and heat in both feet. For these problems, the president has been prescribed medication for high blood pressure and blood thinners, supplemented with medication for allergies.

The president also underwent a routine colonoscopy and neurological evaluation and had non-cancerous skin growths removed, as well as a pair of orthotics and new contact lenses, according to O’Connor.

“Physical examination is fundamentally unchanged from baseline, with the notable exception of recent apparent findings consistent with mild peripheral neuropathy,” he wrote. “In up to 46% of cases, especially when symptoms are mild as in this patient, no specific causes are identified.”

O’Connor had been concerned about Joe Biden’s “increasing frequency and severity of ‘clearing his throat'” and coughing, as well as his “noticeably stiffer and less fluid” walk.


“This study directly confirmed esophageal reflux, possibly worsened by a mild hiatal hernia,” he wrote. “A combination of significant spinal arthritis, post-fracture ‘limp and compensation’ and mild sensory peripheral neuropathy of the feet explain the subtle gait changes.”

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