- Doctors today called for President Joe Biden to receive cognitive tests
- It follows a week of shocking gaffes that saw Biden refer to dead presidents
- READ MORE: Biden’s own DOJ says he is an ‘elderly man with a poor memory’
Doctors today called for President Joe Biden to receive cognitive tests that prove he’s fit to serve after an astonishing week of gaffes, as well as a report from the justice department that raised serious questions about his health.
The DOJ report described Biden, 81, as a ‘elderly man with a poor memory’, finding that he did not remember the years he was vice president and could not recall, ‘even within several years’, when his son Beau died.
Doctors reacting to the assessment said forgetting key events like the death of a loved one were a hallmark of cognitive decline, a precursor for dementia, and called for the incumbent to take cognitive tests to ‘prove to the public’ that he is mentally sound.
Last night in an unusual move, Biden angrily addressed the nation about the DOJ report, telling Americans ‘I know what the hell I am doing!’ and insisting that ‘my memory is fine.’
However, moments later he committed another startling gaffe, referring to the Egyptian leader as the President of Mexico. Concerns about the president’s health have hit a fever pitch following a week of shocking gaffes that saw Biden confuse dead foreign leaders with current ones multiple times.
Biden on Thursday angrily addressed the nation about the DOJ report, telling Americans ‘I know what the hell I am doing!’ and insisting that ‘my memory is fine.’ Moments later, he referred to the Egyptian leader as the President of Mexico
At the 2021 G7 Summit, Biden claimed to have been addressed by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl regarding the nature of the January 6 insurrection. Kohl died in 2017 and was not at the 2021 summit
Dr Stuart Fischer, an internal medicine physician in New York, told DailyMail.com that a cognitive test for the president was ‘long overdue’.
‘If you want to prove to the public [that he’s mentally and physically sound], you’ve got to show them,’ he said.
‘You’re in the top job in the country… you have got to be able to produce.’
He pointed out to the transparency from the Royal Family in the UK, who announced King Charles’ cancer diagnosis earlier this week, urging the White House to apply the same level of honesty when it comes to Biden’s health problems.
‘Look at King Charles – this is called honesty and this is how we should all live, they are reassuring the public. Honesty is the best policy,’ he said.
The same transparency should be applied with Biden in the US, Dr Fischer added.
Last night, Republicans Rick Scott and Marjorie Taylor Greene calling for Biden’s Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which says that a president can be removed if they are unfit for duty.
It gives the vice president and Cabinet power to remove the commander in chief from office via a majority vote in the event it’s determined he or she is no longer fit for office. It has never been invoked in US history.
Ironically, there were calls for Former president Donald Trump to be impeached in 2018 on the basis that he was mentally unfit for office.
Dr Jane Orient, executive director of the right-wing Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told DailyMail.com: ‘I think the 25th Amendment is a political one and is unlikely to happen because the Democrat party and all the Cabinet secretaries are going to be loyal to Biden and they’re happy with things as they are.
‘But I think a case can be made [that it should be invoked]. Speaking just as a citizen who observes him talking and observes the gaffes, I have reason to be very much concerned.
‘The person who is commander in chief of our armed forces and making very critical decisions about every second of our life may not know what he’s doing.’
She called for ‘basic cognitive tests’ to be carried out and made public.
On February 6, Biden stumbled through another press conference, even forgetting the name of Hamas when asked a question about a hostage negotiations between the terror group and Israel
On February 4, Biden confused Macron with dead French leader. Speaking in Las Vegas on Sunday, Biden said: ‘And Mitterand from Germany — I mean, from France — looked at me and said… “You know, what — why, how long you back for?”‘
Biden referred to the former president as the ‘sitting president’ during a speech at a Democratic Party dinner in South Carolina, sparking a wave of ridicule from online conservatives
The long-awaited investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents was released Thursday, and included hours of interviews with the President.
The investigation found: ‘He [Biden] did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (“if it was 2013 – when did I stop being Vice President?”), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (“in 2009, am I still Vice President?”).
‘He did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died.’
One of the reasons investigators decided not to press charges was because ‘at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory’.
Dr Orient said that while previous attacks from Republicans about Biden’s health could be framed as partisan, the conclusion’s from his own DOJ was a potentially pivotal moment.
‘Obviously something from his own justice department has a lot more credence than people who can be accused of being biased – which carries a lot less weight.’
A new NBC poll revealed that 62 percent of voters said they have ‘major concerns’ about Biden’s mental and physical health.
Dr Yusuf Hameed, an anesthesiologist from Georgia, told DailyMail.com: ‘His mental faculties are diminishing… It happens to everyone, but some signs of dementia occur at a faster rate than others.
‘It’s hard to delineate those patients who will have accelerated signs of dementia, but remembering conversations with dead world leaders is concerning.’
‘If a prosecutor is unwilling to prosecute because of a person’s poor memory and frailties, then Biden has problems,’ he added.
On Saturday, he referred to the former president as the ‘sitting president’ during a speech at a Democratic Party dinner in South Carolina, sparking a wave of ridicule from online conservatives.
On Sunday, he confused current French President Emmanuel Macron for the former President of France, François Mitterrand, who died in 1996.
And twice during the description of a 2021 conversation at campaign events on Wednesday, the president mistakenly mentioned the late German chancellor Helmut Kohl instead of referring to the former Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Dr Arthur Oliva, a psychiatrist at University of Louisville in Kentucky, said on X: ‘This is the most concerning news I’ve heard about Biden’s memory.
‘Making gaffes during speeches or stumbling over words is one thing, but this is legitimately bad recall.
‘Typically people’s short-term memory is lost first, but having recall issues with when he was vice president is bad.’
For the 25th Amendment to be invoked, the vice president, together with a ‘majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide’ must issue a written declaration that the president is unable to carry out his duties.
Once such a declaration has been sent to Congress, the vice president immediately becomes acting president.
Voters in the upcoming 2024 presidential election have long been faced with the question, when does a verbal gaffe go from innocent slip-up to a cause for genuine concern?
President Biden has committed several public flubs in the past week that have raised voters’ eyebrows: he confused the names of European leaders for their dead predecessors, referred to former President Trump as the ‘sitting President’, and momentarily forgot the name of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
Mr Biden has repeatedly fended off charges that he is too old for the top job – indeed, he’s the oldest sitting US President.
But fears of age-related frailty and cognitive decline have not stopped the party from coalescing around him once again to make him the presumptive nominee for the upcoming election.
Mr Trump has committed his fair share of verbal fumbles on the campaign trail, but his base of supporters appears far less concerned about their candidate’s mental fitness than the general electorate does of Biden’s.
Neurologists specializing in aging and gerontology would typically administer one or several tests specifically designed to gauge cognitive impairment.
Dr Fischer told DailyMail.com that it ‘could be’ a case of mild cognitive impairment, but a comprehensive round of testing is the only way to know for sure.
Dr Kenneth Heilman, a neurologist at the University of Florida College of Medicine, told DailyMail.com: ‘The only way really, if you’re worried about a person who’s aging, is have them have a full evaluation by a neurologist to see if they meet the criteria [for cognitive impairment].’
Memory lapses and lost trains of thought have plagued the Biden campaign, garnering ridicule from Republicans and worry among his supporters biting their nails in anticipation of the oldest Presidential match up ever.
Early signs of cognitive decline could be chalked up to the normal aging process. About 40 percent of people 65 and older suffer some amount of memory impairment, but only one percent go on to have dementia. Fatigue from long travel days and mental and physical exertion exacerbate these signs.
Memory lapses once in a while could be considered ‘senior moments’, but when they happen repeatedly and are amplified in a very public arena, doctors say it merits a closer, clinical look.
When diagnosing a patient showing signs of impairment, Dr Heilman said: ‘There’s a whole series of things that you’re looking at.
‘Typically we see somebody, we talk to them for a while to see how their language is. Sometimes when we speak to them, if they do have a lot of problems finding words, that becomes concern, and we like to see if they comprehend when we speak to them. If they don’t understand our request, that becomes a concern.’
From there, doctors can choose from a battery of tests, such as the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a simple in-office test that asks people to draw a cube, identify animals, and draw a clock to detect mild cognitive impairment.
They may also administer the Mini-Cog, a three-minute test for the patient that consists of two components, a three-item recall test for memory and a clock drawing test. Another is the Mini–Mental State Examination, which assesses various cognitive abilities including orientation, attention, memory, language, and visuospatial skills.
He said: ‘These evaluations, what they do is they assess what’s called recent memory.
‘And then we look at other kinds of what we call cognitive functions. We listen to their speech, are they having problems with their speech or language, when they speak on are they finding words okay or they what we call recall circumlocution around the words.
The most common test, according to Dr Heilman, is the Boston Naming Test to assess a person’s word-finding ability.
It consists of 60 black line drawings, presented in order from easiest to most difficult, that the test-taker has to name in 20 seconds or less.