KJP Admits Giving False Info On Biden Not Being Seen By Neurologist


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre admitted on Tuesday that she had been mistaken when she stated that neurologist Dr. Kevin Cannard, a specialist in Parkinson’s disease, had not examined President Joe Biden in January.

Following Biden’s poor debate performance against former President Donald Trump last month, there has been speculation within the medical community that he suffers from Parkinson’s.

The New York Post reported over the weekend that, based on the White House visitor logs, Cannard had visited the White House on Jan. 17 and met with Biden’s presidential physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor.

O’Connor released a letter Monday night, stating that Cannard had examined Biden during each of his annual physicals. The results of the most recent physical were made public in late February.

The letter did not say why Cannard met with O’Connor in January.


At a White House news briefing on Tuesday, Seung Min Kim, a reporter from the Associated Press, raised questions about a letter involving Cannard’s meeting with O’Connor. Kim noted that it “didn’t seem to explicitly describe the nature of Dr. Cannard’s meeting with Dr. O’Connor.”

“So can you say whether that one meeting was related to care for the president himself?” she asked.

“I can say that it was not,” Jean-Pierre responded. But later, KJP reached back out to Kim and offered a revised statement.

“Because the date was not mentioned in the question, I want to be clear that the Jan. 17 meeting between Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Cannard was for the president’s physical,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement to the AP. “It was one of the three times the president has seen Dr. Cannard, each time for his physical. The findings from each exam have been released to the public.”

On Monday, the press secretary read from Biden’s February health summary saying, “An extremely detailed neurological exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or ascending lateral sclerosis.”

During that briefing, tensions rose as CBS News reporter Ed O’Keefe questioned Jean-Pierre about Dr. Cannard’s eight visits to the White House from August through March. The exchange highlighted the scrutiny over the frequency and purpose of these visits. She responded to the line of questioning, saying that due to privacy reasons she could not confirm if Cannard had visited or who he had seen, suggesting some patients could include military personnel, which raised security issues.

Asked specifically about Biden, Jean-Pierre offered the same response, prompting O’Keefe to say, “That’s a very basic direct question.” He added: “That much you should be able to answer by this point.”

“We cannot share names of specialists, broadly,” Jean-Pierre answered. But O’Keefe noted Cannard’s name is in the visitor logs for anyone to see and continued to push the press secretary for answers.

“Hold on a second. There’s no reason to go back and forth with me in this aggressive way,” Jean-Pierre replied.

“Well, we’re a little miffed around here about how information has been shared with the press corps about [Biden],” O’Keefe shot back.

In his letter released Monday, O’Connor, a retired U.S. Army doctor, said Cannard was chosen for Biden’s annual physicals “not because he is a movement disorder specialist, but because he is a highly trained and highly regarded neurologist here at Walter Reed and across the Military Health System, with a very wide expertise which makes him flexible to see a variety of patients and problems.”

The letter went on to say that Biden did not see a neurologist outside of his annual exams, Fox News reported. O’Connor mentioned that he had obtained authorization from Biden and Cannard to disclose the identity of the neurologist and the purpose of his visits.

“To protect patient privacy for the thousands of patients of the White House Medical Unit and the physicians who treat them, normally we do not disclose the names of specialists we work with,” the letter said.


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