President Joe Biden underwent his first physical exam since 2021 on Thursday, and while the nation certainly deserves the full story on the health of the commander in chief ahead of 2024, Dr. David Scheiner, a former longtime physician to former President Barack Obama, suggested to the Washington Examiner that the administration is unlikely to be forthcoming about the results.
In Scheiner's estimation, there is no denying that Biden's advanced age – 80 on his last birthday – is a definite concern, even though he has no personal awareness that the president suffers from any specific conditions at present.
Schiener said, “By the time he completes [a second term], he'll be 86 years old; I don't care if he's in perfect health now – which, I can't believe he's in perfect health. He's had too many things in his past history.”
Specifically, according to Scheiner, Biden's prior brain surgery as well as a known heart irregularity point to the wisdom of cognitive testing, given their potential for complications down the road.
“Biden had an aneurysm repaired. When you do work on the brain, there's always a little damage done. He's had that atrial fibrillation – that can sometimes throw off small strokes. They're leaving a whole area of concern in my mind, Scheiner said, given his belief that neither an MRI nor a neurocognitive exam will likely be included in Thursday's appointment.
“The one thing they don't check is a careful examination of the mind. I don't think any candidate wants it. They're afraid they might find something,” the doctor added.
Scheiner also pointed to findings from Biden's last physical, in which it was noted that the president's gait was “perceptibly stiffer and less fluid” than just one year prior, something which he said was “not an insignificant factor” in that it gives “a peek into the whole physical, mental capability of a person.”
Similar concerns were raised by Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel following the president's 2021 exam, and he pointed out what he believed were alarming gaps in the written report provided to the media by Dr. Kevin O'Connor, particularly with regard to the gait changes.
“If we're looking into neurological causes for the gait change, I don't think the way they characterize that in the physical is sufficient. I want more information. I want to know what the MRIs show, and I want to know what the nerve conduction EMG shows to rule out things that are more extensive, that, by the way, can be associated with cognitive changes like mental status, like dementia,” Siegel said.
Joining the chorus of those arguing for Biden to undergo a cognitive exam, as the Examiner noted separately, is Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), himself a former physician, who said recently that such a review needed to be part of Thursday's workup.
“I think it would be important to see a very thorough and comprehensive cognitive function study that is released with transparency to the general public,” DesJarlais said.
The Tennessee lawmaker went on, saying, “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 the nation.”
Also regularly calling on the president to undergo cognitive testing is former White House physician-turned-congressman Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who has said of Biden, “The whole country is seeing his mental cognitive issues on display...and there's really no question in most people's minds that there's something going on with him, that he's not cognitively the same as he used to be.”
Even so, it is Scheiner's belief that even if Biden were to receive a full cognitive examination on Thursday – something he deems unlikely given the reelection campaign yet to come, the chances of the American public learning the true results of such testing are slim to none. “You're not going to learn anything,” the doctor lamented. “They sugarcoat these things.”