Rumors about Parkinson's disease

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09.07.2024 08:10

Speculation about the state of health of the incumbent US President Joe Biden has been circulating in the media, and not just since yesterday. And even though this has often been fueled by political rivals, a visit to the White House by a specialist for Parkinson's disease is now making headlines ... 

The New York Times, citing official visitor logs, reported that a Parkinson's expert had visited the White House eight times since last summer. The newspaper went on to write that it was unclear whether the physician from Walter Reed Military Hospital had been at the government headquarters specifically to see the president, or whether he had been there for other purposes.

Speculation about state of health
According to the report, the expert himself states that he worked as a "neurological consultant to the White House medical department and physician to the president" from 2012 to 2022. According to the newspaper, documents show that the expert also visited the White House during this time.

Biden's spokeswoman dodged questions about this on Monday evening, but emphasized that the US president was not being treated for Parkinson's disease. Biden's personal physician also made details of the head of state's state of health public on Tuesday. 

"Highly qualified and highly respected neurologist"
Kevin Cannard is the neurological specialist who examines President Biden for each of his annual routine health checks, Biden's personal physician Kevin O'Connor wrote in a letter published by the White House.

The White House released a statement from Biden's personal physician on Tuesday regarding the US president's health. (Bild: AP)
The White House released a statement from Biden's personal physician on Tuesday regarding the US president's health.
(Bild: AP)

Cannard was not chosen because he is a specialist in movement disorders, but because he is "a highly qualified and highly respected neurologist". His "very broad expertise" gives him the flexibility to assess a wide range of patients and problems.

Biden has "no signs of Parkinson's"
According to Biden's doctor O'Connor, the results of the neurological examination by Cannard have been made public every time. At the end of February, the published health report stated that there were no signs of possible strokes or Parkinson's in Biden and that the president had "no tremor". "President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical," O'Connor continued. Cannard has been a neurological advisor to the White House medical unit since 2012.

To stop Trump, Biden must "pass the torch", this poster in Washington demands. (Bild: AFP)
To stop Trump, Biden must "pass the torch", this poster in Washington demands.

This White House department is responsible for the medical needs of the president, White House staff and visitors. Cannard holds regular consultations there. "Seeing patients at the White House is something Dr. Cannard has been doing for a dozen years." In order to protect the privacy of patients, the names of experts are not normally published. In this case, an exception is being made.

Pressure on the US president is growing
Since his TV debacle against Republican challenger Donald Trump, 81-year-old Biden has had to put up with increasing questions about his mental fitness. He has also come under pressure in the Democratic Party. There is a debate in the USA as to whether Biden is really the right Democratic presidential candidate for the election in November due to his advanced age. Biden rejects any doubts. He rejects a cognitive health test on his mental abilities. His spokeswoman Jean-Pierre also emphasized once again that there is no reason to do so.

The latest move by the White House is unusual and shows just how much pressure there is now. The aim of publishing the details is likely to be to dispel speculation that Biden may be suffering from Parkinson's disease. "Has the President been treated for Parkinson's? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson's? No, he is not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson's? No," Jean-Pierre said at the press briefing.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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