More than a dozen Republican House members, led by former White House doctor Ronny Jackson, asked President Joe Biden on Thursday to undergo a cognitive test and release the results “so the American people know the full mental and intellectual health of their president”.
The New York Post reports they wrote to Biden, saying in part, “The American people should have absolute confidence in their President. They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties of head of state and commander in chief. They deserve full transparency on the mental capabilities of their highest elected leader.”
The letter claims that Biden’s “mental decline and forgetfulness have become more apparent over the past 18 months”.
One example given by Jackson recounts an abortive attempt by Biden to recite the first line of the Declaration of Independence in March 2020, during which he said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created by the, you know, you know, the thing.”
Jackson wrote, “Most school-age children could recite that famous and revered patriotic phrase by heart, but you could not.”
The letter does not cite any examples from Biden’s recent week-long trip to Europe, but commentators noted that he tried to remind British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he hadn’t introduced the president of South Africa during a roundtable discussion at the G7 summit – only to be reminded that Johnson had just done so.
“He’s not inspiring confidence in our allies overseas, and more importantly, he’s sending the wrong message to our adversaries overseas. This is a dangerous situation,” Jackson said.
Analysts say there may be an element of tit-for-tat in the request for Biden to be examined.
Jackon was Donald Trump’s physician when he was president and famously gave him excellent physical and mental health reports that were derided by much of the mainstream media.
“The mainstream media and the far left were relentless in their pursuit of me when I was taking care of President Trump, just demanding that he have a physical exam that included a cognitive test,” Jackson recalled.
“They said that every president should have that test. It should be the new standard, and we should know that our commander in chief and our head of state is capable of leading the nation.
“And so we submitted to that,” Jackson said. “I’m just saying that the precedent has been set and I’m asking Joe Biden and his medical team to get out there and to get this physical exam done, get this cognitive testing done, and get the results back to the American people.”