White House doesn’t commit to making Biden doctor available to attest to mental acuity

The White House promises that President Joe Biden‘s attending physician will produce a physical ahead of the 2024 election but did not say Monday if or when Dr. Kevin O’Connor would field questions from the press regarding the president’s overall health.

Biden’s age and mental acuity have been thrust back under the spotlight following the release of special counsel Robert Hur’s report regarding the investigation of Biden’s mishandling of classified documents. Hur, a Republican appointee, did not recommend charges against Biden, but he said that the president exhibited a clearly failing memory in interviews, a claim that has been heartily rejected by the White House and Biden himself.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced a number of questions on the subject during Monday’s briefing and reiterated that Hur is “obviously a Republican prosecutor” and should not have commented on Biden’s mental condition.

“He’s not a medical doctor. He’s just not. It’s not for him to speak to. It’s just not,” she told reporters. “It is obviously up for a medical doctor to decide on. But look, I have said the president, the medical doctor, the president’s doctor is going to do a physical.”

“He has always put forward, in the last two years, a detailed memo on the president, on the president’s obviously — medical physical, and so I’m just going to leave it there,” Jean-Pierre said.

The president is not bound to release any of his personal medical information, and Biden authorized the release of his annual physicals from O’Connor in 2021 and 2023, both of which found him to be relatively healthy for a man of his age.

Jean-Pierre also declined to say Monday whether the president wanted to publish transcripts of his interviews with Hur’s office, which could theoretically prove the White House’s claims that the special counsel overstepped with his characterization of Biden’s memory.

“I don’t have anything else to share. That’s something the [White House] counsels could speak to,” she said when asked about transcripts of Biden’s interviews. “They’ve been answering these questions for the past couple of days, incoming on this particular question on the transcript. They have to speak to that.”


You can watch Monday’s briefing in full below.

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