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Douglas Andrews / Jun. 18, 2021

Is Joe Biden Mentally Impaired?

A letter from House Republicans to the president asks that he take a cognitive exam just as Donald Trump did.

There was a moment in Geneva, a moment missed by most journalists, when Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin were sitting side by side, finishing up a discussion on cyber warfare. Thinking the mics had been turned off, Putin leaned into Biden and whispered, “Joe, admit it. Trump won the election.”

To which Biden nodded knowingly and replied, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.”

Ba-dum-chh. Making light of the American president’s mental state has been mostly fun and games to this point, but sooner or later someone’s going to get hurt.

First-term Texas Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson seems to understand this, and yesterday he penned a letter to Biden, cosigned by 13 fellow House Republicans, that urges the president to submit to a cognitive test and share the results with the American people.

Jackson, perhaps more than any other American citizen, is best suited to write such a letter. After all, he was formerly the White House physician to both Barack Obama and Donald Trump. If anyone understands the great strain and the awesome cognitive demands of the American presidency, it’s Jackson. Yesterday, in addition to sending that letter, he issued a written statement:

The American people deserve to have absolute confidence in their President. They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties demanded of the office, and they deserve to have full transparency on the mental state of their highest elected leader. I would argue that the American people don’t have that confidence in President Biden. When I was Physician to President Donald J. Trump, the liberal media relentlessly pushed a narrative that he needed a cognitive test and that it should be the standard for anyone serving as Commander-in-Chief and Head of State. I administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) test and President Trump excelled. Given the precedent set and Biden’s clear mental impairment, I believe it is past time he undergo a cognitive test.

“We write to you today,” the letter to Biden begins, “to express concern with your current cognitive state. We believe that, regardless of gender, age, or political party, all Presidents should follow the precedent set by former President Trump to document and demonstrate sound mental abilities.”

Biden’s handlers, of course, won’t allow him to submit to any such test, unless his decline becomes utterly untenable, or until they’re ready for Kamala Harris to step in. But Republican pressure may force their hand. The 46th president still has 44 months left in his term, but, as we’ve written previously, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats have already made some maneuvers to accommodate the Harris transition.

Last October, after Pelosi announced legislation to create a commission with the authority “to determine whether the president is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office,” Mark Alexander noted:

“Pelosi’s target is, ostensibly, Trump. But if Biden wins, this will provide Democrats plausible deniability to remove him. Of course he will be complicit in that political maneuver, and, ‘acquiesce’ to House Democrats in order to cover the fact that the real candidate has been Kamala Harris all along, thus not causing protest from his supporters that the transition was fixed before the election.”

In addition, our Thomas Gallatin reported in February:

Nearly three dozen House Democrats led by Jimmy Panetta (CA) recently sent a letter to Joe Biden requesting that he give up his unilateral authority to launch the U.S. nuclear arsenal. In the letter, Panetta contends, “Vesting one person with this authority entails risks. Past presidents have threatened to attack other countries with nuclear weapons or exhibited behavior that caused other officials to express concern about the president’s judgment.”

Of course, Panetta’s letter didn’t mention Biden’s advanced age or his mental state, but it didn’t have to. The letter was unprecedented, and, as Gallatin noted, it “tacitly underscores fears that Biden can’t be trusted with nukes.” And given his short temper and his increasing incoherence, it’s becoming ever more clear that he can’t be trusted with much of anything.

Though Democrats have, thus far, only hinted at their concern for Biden’s cognitive decline, Jackson and his Republican colleagues have done the nation a service by going on the record rather than merely whispering and muttering about it.

(Updated)

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