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Why Did a Parkinson’s Doctor Repeatedly Visit the White House?
Joe and Jill Biden return to the White House on July 7, 2024. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images)

Why Did a Parkinson’s Doctor Repeatedly Visit the White House?

The American people deserve to know the truth about the president’s health.

Has the reason for Joe Biden’s obvious physical and mental decline been hiding in plain sight? Two July 6 reports suggest the president has been seeing a Parkinson’s disease specialist for months.

On Saturday, the New York Post reported that a doctor at Walter Reed Medical Center with expertise in Parkinson’s visited the White House January 17, hosted by the president’s physician Kevin O’Connor. A second report, published by Alex Berenson on his Substack, Unreported Truths, revealed that the doctor visited the White House eight times between July 28, 2023, and March 28, 2024. (The logs run through March 31, 2024, and are available for anyone to access online.)

The doctor in question is Kevin R. Cannard, a neurologist and retired Army colonel. His physician profile page shows he is a neurologist and movement disorders specialist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center who researches treatments for early phase Parkinson’s disease. Berenson notes that Walter Reed “provides medical care to senior federal officials.” 

If Cannard is treating Biden, then the president has some explaining to do. Last Friday, during a televised interview designed to do damage control after his disastrous debate performance the week before, Biden was asked several times if he would submit to a complete neurological and cognitive exam done by independent physicians. (The Free Press called for such an evaluation last week.) 

Biden, 81, repeatedly demurred. “Look, I have a cognitive test every single day,” he said, referring to his performing the duties of the presidency. He also said, apparently referring to his physicians, “No one said I had to. No one said. They said I’m good.”

Whenever Biden has been pressed about his fitness for the White House, he’s often responded with a favorite catchphrase, “Watch me.” But the public has been watching—with increasing alarm. Neurologists, who generally wish to remain anonymous, have been watching, too.

One, an emeritus professor of neurology who has not treated the president, told The Free Press he believes Biden “has Parkinsonism, an umbrella term that refers to neurologic conditions that cause slowed movements, rigidity, and tremors. By observation, he has a masked face, reduced blinking, stiff and slow gait, hunched posture, low-volume voice, imbalance, freezing, mild cognitive disturbance, and difficulty turning.” 

Another neurologist, who wrote to Berenson after his story was published, echoed these findings: “All the disturbing symptoms we all see are called Parkinsonism. . . . In fact in medical school we watch videos of patients with Parkinsonism like Biden to illustrate to the students how this manifests.”

Coincidentally, just last week, Biden signed into law the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act, which promises to “dramatically increase federal research funding, develop more effective pathways for treatments and cures,” and “improve early diagnosis” of the disease.

According to the results of a physical exam released in February, O’Connor declared Biden “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency,” adding that there are “no findings which would be consistent” with Parkinson’s. 

If Cannard has examined the president and agrees with this, he should say so publicly. 

It is also incumbent on the administration to explain Cannard’s multiple visits. If this neurologist has diagnosed and is treating Biden for a form of Parkinsonism—and this has been covered up—that’s a medical and political scandal. If his doctors believe he has this disease and are failing to inform and treat him, that is shocking malpractice. (House Republicans have already requested an interview with O’Connor.)

And let’s say Cannard is just an old-fashioned doctor who makes house calls to the White House to see patients other than the president. If that’s true, the public needs to know this, too.

Biden may say there is no necessity for him to get that comprehensive evaluation. But he’s wrong. The American people deserve to know what’s going on with the president.

Emily Yoffe is a senior editor at The Free Press. You can follow her on X at @emilyyoffe

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