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Joe Biden

Multiple visits by Parkinson's expert to White House weren't for Biden, doctor says

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his three annual physicals since entering the White House, his physician said in a letter Monday night, clarifying that recent trips to the White House by an expert on Parkinson's disease weren't to meet with the president.

The letter from Dr. Kevin O'Connor followed reports from 鶹ý and others on Dr. Kevin Cannard, an expert on Parkinson’s disease, who visited the White House eight times during an eight-month period − including once with O'Connor, the president's physician − according to official visitor logs.

serves as the neurology specialist supporting the White House Medical Unit. His White House visits included one meeting with O’Connor and two others at the White House residence clinic on Jan. 17, the New York Post first reported.

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But O'Connor, in a Monday letter addressed to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, sought to make clear that this visit and others didn't involve Biden. "President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical," he wrote.

During a contentious press briefing earlier Monday, Jean-Pierre did not say why the Parkinson’s expert visited the White House multiple times, nor did she say who the specialist was visiting.

Jean-Pierre said “thousands of military personnel” are on the White House campus and that “many of them get care from the White House medical unit.” But she would not discuss Cannard's White House visits any further, citing “privacy” considerations for the doctor.

But O'Connor, in his letter, elaborated on Jean-Pierre's comments, writing that Cannard has held regular neurological clinics at the White House in support of "thousands of active-duty members assigned in support of White House operations."

"Many military personnel experience neurological issues related to their service, and Dr. Cannard regularly visits the WHMU related to this General Neurology practice," O'Connor said.

During the earlier press briefing, Jean-Pierre said Biden has taken a neurological exam three times during his presidency: each during his annual physical, which is taken at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. But she wouldn't say whether Cannard's visits were also to meet with Biden or with other individuals at the White House.

O'Connor said Cannard was Biden's neurologist during each of the president's three physicals.

In Biden's most recent physical, taken in February of this year, Biden was found to have "no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder" including Parkinson's disease, according to a summary of the physical.

“Has the president been treated for Parkinson's? No,” Jean-Pierre said Monday. “Is he being treated for Parkinson's? No, he's not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson's? No. So those are the things that I can give you full-blown answers on.”

President Joe Biden returns to the White House on July 7, 2024, after attending campaign events in Pennsylvania.

The visitor logs, released by the White House, document visits from August 2023 through March of this year. The last recorded visit occurred on March 28. More recent visits, if there have been any, would not be released until later under the White House’s voluntary disclosure policy, the New York Times reported.

The revelation came in the wake of the president's disastrous debate performance, which have called into question the octogenarian's mental acuity and put Democrats on free fall with less than 120 days to the November election.

Biden has rejected calls by some Democrats for him to drop out of the 2024 election, dismissing concerns about his age and mental fitness and arguing Democratic voters already showed their support by voting for him overwhelmingly during the Democratic primary.

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