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18 Jun, 2021 19:33

Trump's former White House doctor and 13 other GOP lawmakers call on Biden to take cognitive test to assess mental fitness

Trump's former White House doctor and 13 other GOP lawmakers call on Biden to take cognitive test to assess mental fitness

US Representative Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), the ex-White House doctor who gave then-President Donald Trump a clean bill of mental health, is calling for President Joe Biden to take a cognitive test to assess his fitness for office.

“The American people should have absolute confidence in their president,” Jackson and 13 other Republican lawmakers said in a letter to Biden on Thursday. “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 legislators urged Biden to submit to a cognitive test “immediately” and publish the results, “so the American people know the full mental and intellectual health of their president, and to set an example for all presidents to follow going forward.”

The letter noted that with Democrat politicians and mainstream media outlets questioning Trump's mental fitness in 2018, the president underwent a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA). Jackson reported that Trump got a perfect score on the test, and the doctor became a target of media criticism after giving what ABC News called, “an unusually glowing and public declaration of a president's good health.”

Media outlets also ridiculed Trump over the alleged easiness of his cognitive test, but CNN hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo botched a comedic demonstration of such an exam on air.

With Biden making a series of gaffes on the presidential campaign trail last year, Trump called on him to take a cognitive test to prove his mental acuity. The Democrat candidate dismissed Trump's challenge and mocked a journalist who raised the question of a test in an August interview.

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“Come on, man,” Biden told Yahoo News reporter Errol Barnett. “That's like saying to you, before you got on this program if you had taken a test were you taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?”

Biden's mental stumbles have continued since he took office in January. During his European trip last week, he made such blunders as repeatedly referring to ‘Libya’ when he meant to say ‘Syria’ and erroneously suggesting that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had neglected to introduce South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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The MOCA test is designed to show early signs of mental impairment. Jackson and the other GOP lawmakers said in their letter that such an assessment is “pertinent” for Biden, given his history of having suffered aneurysms associated with a hemorrhagic stroke.

“Certain behaviors that signal someone should take the exam include patients repeating themselves, losing car keys frequently, forgetting recent events and multiple instances of forgetting conversations,” the letter said.

Unfortunately, your forgetfulness and cognitive difficulties have been prominently on display over the past year. Unfortunately, your mental decline and forgetfulness have become more apparent over the past 18 months.

The lawmakers noted such examples this year as a March incident in which Biden apparently forgot the name of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, his botching of names, titles and the time of day during a visit to Houston in February, and a May statement in which he misidentified the plane he used as vice president in the Obama administration. He also appeared to forget a line from the Declaration of Independence in March 2020.

The letter also pointed out that when House Democrats were seeking last October to create an independent commission to examine a president's fitness for office, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) argued that given an aging population, “it's not hard to think that there will be future situations where the president's physical and mental state may create issues for us.”

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Republican lawmakers turned that quote against Biden, saying, “We agree with the statements put forth by Representative Raskin. As such, we encourage you to follow the example set by President Trump by undergoing a cognitive test as soon as possible and immediately making the results available for the American people.”

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