Republicans demand Biden take cognitive test or drop out
US President Joe Biden must pass a cognitive exam or abandon the 2024 presidential race, 61 Republican members of the House of Representatives demanded on Thursday in an open letter to the commander-in-chief.
“The United States’ national security relies on a cognitively sound Commander in Chief, and it is evident that you do not fit that bill,” the letter stated, citing the concerns of the American public – 57% of voters don’t think Biden is “mentally fit” to lead the country, according to one recent poll – and the president’s own refusal to address those concerns in the first three years of his term.
Led by Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, a former White House doctor, the letter’s signatories urged Biden to “submit to a clinically validated cognitive screening assessment and make those results available to the public” or retire and “allow a mentally fit leader to emerge.”
The physical exams he underwent in 2021 and earlier this year, which included a testimonial from White House doctor Kevin O’Connor that Biden is a “healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” do not count, they argued, as these did not include a cognitive assessment – not a public one, anyway.
“Over the past two years, public appearances where you shuffle your feet, trip when you walk, slur your words, forget names, lose your train of thought and appear momentarily confused have become more of a common occurrence […] so common and noticeable that if you search ‘Biden gaffes’ online, over 14,000,000 results appear,” the congressmen pointed out.
Questions about the president’s mental fitness have dogged him since the 2020 primary season, when the candidate Biden would occasionally forget the name of the city or state he was appearing in, the words to the Declaration of Independence, or even the president under whom he served as vice president for eight years. At least three other letters urging the president to submit to a cognitive assessment have gone unanswered since he took office in 2021.
Already the oldest president in US history, Biden announced his reelection bid last month. If he wins, he would be 86 at the end of his second term. His leading Republican challenger, former president Donald Trump, is no spring chicken himself at 76, but has spearheaded the call for the incumbent to receive a cognitive evaluation, insisting there is something “wrong” with his opponent.