Biden’s Doctor Says He Is ‘Fit for Duty’ After Physical and Neurological Exam

Biden’s Doctor Says He Is ‘Fit for Duty’ After Physical and Neurological Exam

President Biden on Wednesday was declared “match for responsibility” by his longtime physician, who stated that the president had undergone an “extraordinarily detailed” neurological examination that didn’t flip up proof of stroke, neurological problems or Parkinson’s illness.

In a abstract of Mr. Biden’s third presidential bodily at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Dr. Kevin O’Connor didn’t say whether or not the examination contained widespread exams for assessing cognitive decline or detecting indicators of dementia which can be usually advisable for older adults.

Dr. O’Connor stated {that a} staff of docs, together with a neurologist, two orthopedists and a bodily therapist, examined the president, whom Dr. O’Connor described as an “energetic 81-year-old white male.” Earlier within the day, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, declined to provide specifics in regards to the exams Mr. Biden had undergone, however stated that the president “doesn’t want” a cognitive examination.

Mr. Biden, the oldest president within the nation’s historical past, is going through widespread considerations over his age as he campaigns for a second time period. Earlier this month, he was described in a particular counsel report as a “well-meaning, aged man with a poor reminiscence” — a characterization the president vehemently opposed.

On Wednesday, Mr. Biden answered questions in regards to the outcomes of his examination with a joke.

“They suppose I look too younger,” he informed reporters throughout a spherical desk with legislation enforcement officers on the White House. “There is nothing completely different than final yr,” he stated, including that “every little thing’s nice.”

The abstract launched by Dr. O’Connor mirrored a prolonged and detailed examination. But the president, his advisers and a staff of 20 physicians in the end declined to supply detailed details about Mr. Biden’s cognitive skills. Doctors use their discretion in offering evaluation exams, and never all docs carry out them. Physicians usually use conversations with sufferers as a screening gadget.

“For the doctor who interacts with a affected person frequently, it’s completely legitimate for the doctor to say, ‘I can assess the psychological standing each day,’” Dr. Thomas Wisniewski, the director of the Center for Cognitive Neurology at NYU Langone Health, stated in a phone interview. “But not in the event that they see one another yearly.”

Dr. O’Connor is a retired U.S. Army colonel who started serving as a physician on the White House in 2006, when President George W. Bush was in workplace. He was Mr. Biden’s doctor when Mr. Biden was serving as vp, and the president introduced him again to the White House in 2021.

In his abstract, Dr. O’Connor stated that the examination of Mr. Biden had raised “no new considerations,” however he supplied updates on a number of medical circumstances he had famous in previous stories. Last yr, Mr. Biden had a cancerous lesion faraway from his chest throughout his bodily; on Wednesday, Dr. O’Connor famous that no additional therapy of that lesion was required.

Mr. Biden has obstructive sleep apnea, a standard sleeping dysfunction by which an individual’s airways develop into blocked. Dr. O’Connor famous that the affected person had been “remarkably dedicated to sticking with remedy” and sleeps practically each night time with a machine that helps his airways clear.

Mr. Biden has additionally develop into noticeably slower in his actions in current months, strolling stiffly as he makes his strategy to the rostrum at appearances and taking the brief stairs straight into the stomach of Air Force One, moderately than the taller stairs to the aircraft’s higher door. Dr. O’Connor famous “average to extreme spondylosis,” or degeneration of the spinal disks, which he attributed to age-related “put on and tear” on the president’s backbone. The physician additionally famous that Mr. Biden has peripheral neuropathy, a situation outlined by nerve harm, ache and stiffening within the toes.

Last yr, Dr. O’Connor stated the stiffness in Mr. Biden’s gait was the results of “important spinal arthritis, gentle post-fracture foot arthritis and a gentle sensory peripheral neuropathy of the toes,” for which the president undergoes bodily remedy to take care of flexibility.

Mr. Biden’s gait is considerably halting, a attribute that a number of folks near the White House say is partly due to his refusal to put on an orthopedic boot after sustaining a hairline fracture in his foot earlier than taking workplace.

This yr, Dr. Connor stated, a spinal examination confirmed a “mildly decreased vary of movement.” Mr. Biden famous discomfort in his left hip, which Dr. O’Connor attributed to “gentle arthritic adjustments.” The president’s hip ache is “most definitely additionally contributing to his stiffened gait,” and Dr. O’Connor stated that Mr. Biden is present process bodily remedy and that he performs an intensive stretching program 4 to 5 occasions per week.

Mr. Biden weighs 178 kilos with a physique mass index of 24.1, in accordance with the White House letter — the identical as final yr. His blood stress was listed as 132/78 with a pulse of 64. Dr. O’Connor famous a number of areas of lentigo, or liver spots, and that Mr. Biden had “mildly decreased” cold and hot sensations in his toes. Mr. Biden takes apixaban, an anticoagulant treatment that reduces the danger of blood clotting however may cause folks to bleed and bruise simply.

The president had a complete ldl cholesterol stage of 122. His excessive density lipoprotein stage was 45 and his low density lipoprotein stage was 68.

Polling exhibits {that a} majority of Americans have considerations about Mr. Biden’s age and talent to run for a second time period. And Mr. Biden has made unforced errors at occasions, together with recalling interactions with overseas leaders who would have been dead on the time these interactions happened.

As the presidential election heats up, the president has tried in current days to assuage considerations over his age by reframing the concentrate on his possible Republican challenger, former President Donald J. Trump, who’s 4 years youthful and who makes a quantity ofexaggerated or outright false claims at his public appearances.

“You obtained to check out the opposite man,” Mr. Biden stated throughout an look this week on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

“He’s about as previous as I’m, however he can’t keep in mind his spouse’s identify,” he added, referring to a video by which Mr. Trump, 77, appeared to neglect the identify of his spouse, Melania.

Mr. Biden, Dr. O’Connor famous on Wednesday, has been “fortunately married for 46 years,” and works out not less than 5 days per week.

Zach Montague contributed reporting.



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