White House Says Biden Hasn’t Shown Symptoms of Parkinson’s Amid Questions Around Expert’s Visits

President Biden Arrives In Harrisburg For Campaign Event

President Biden’s halting debate performance on June 27 has sparked speculation that he may be suffering from symptoms of a degenerative neurological disorder like Parkinson’s. But the White House denies that Biden is being treated for Parkinson’s, or that he has been examined by a neurologist beyond his last routine physical.

Some of that speculation has centered on White House visitor logs that show a neurologist from Walter Reed Medical Center visiting the President’s personal medical unit at the White House multiple times at the end of 2023 and early 2024.

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Dr. Kevin Cannard, an expert on treating movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, met with President Biden’s personal physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor in the White House on Jan. 17 at 5 p.m., according to visitor logs. The meeting also included Dr. John E. Atwood, a Walter Reed cardiologist, according to the records. The White House logs show Dr. Cannard also visited the residence clinic on March 28, and made six other visits over the previous several months. The entries in the logs were first reported by the New York Post.

It is unclear if Cannard has visited the White House in recent weeks. The White House visitor logs, which the administration posts voluntarily on the White House website, show visitors through March. More recent logs have not yet been posted.

Cannard has been a part of the broader White House medical team of doctors since 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile.

When asked repeatedly about Cannard’s visits on Monday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to explain why he came to the White House. Citing privacy reasons, she said she would not confirm the name of any specific doctors who visited the White House compound to treat the President. She also stressed that more than a thousand military service members are seen by the White House medical unit.

Jean-Pierre said Biden “has seen a neurologist three times” since he became president, and those visits were during Biden’s annual physicals.

“Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No,” said Jean-Pierre. “Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No.”

White House Senior Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said that, like previous Presidents, Biden was examined by a panel of doctors with different specialities during his routine annual physicals.

Bates also said that no examination has found that Biden shows symptoms of Parkinson’s. “We do not provide the dates on which the President is seen by the range of specialists who participate in his physical, nor their names,” Bates said. “But there have been no neurologist visits besides the one for his physical.”

The White House published a memo from O’Connor, the President’s physician, late Monday that reiterated the details shared by Jean-Pierre and Bates. It explained that regular visits by Cannard, the neurology consultant to the White House, have been related to his work with the White House Medical Clinic that treats military personnel. Biden, meanwhile, has not seen any neurological specialists outside of his annual health exam, the memo stated. 

The memo cited Biden’s latest exam, the results of which were published on Feb. 28, which said the President’s neurological assessment at the time was “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.”

—Chad de Guzman contributed reporting.

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Contributor: Brian Bennett