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Monday, July 15, 2024

Biden doesn’t suffer from dementia – White House

The US president’s office insists that his inability to finish sentences during a debate was simply a “bad night”

US President Joe Biden does not have Alzheimer’s or dementia, and “knows how to do the job,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has told reporters, after senior Democrats acknowledged that concerns about the president’s mental fitness are “legitimate.”

Appearing visibly confused, Biden mixed up his words and struggled to finish sentences during last week’s debate against former President Donald Trump. The 81-year-old’s performance has been declared a disaster by American news organizations and Democratic Party donors, some of whom have called on Biden to immediately suspend his reelection campaign.

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“I think it’s a legitimate question to say: ‘Is this an episode or is this a condition?’” Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC on Tuesday morning.

“We understand the concerns, we get it, the president did not have a good night,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a briefing later in the afternoon. Repeating Biden’s explanation that he “had a cold” and “had a hoarse voice,” Jean-Pierre insisted that the president “knows how to do the job,” and “knows how to get back up” after a setback.

However, questions about Biden’s mental acuity dominated the hour-long briefing. Asked whether the White House would release more detailed medical records than the summaries of his annual physical exam that have been published to date, she refused. Asked whether Biden would take a cognitive test, she said that such an exam “is not warranted.” Asked whether Biden is “disabled,” she said “no,” and told the reporter asking the question that he “should know better.”

Asked directly whether Biden suffered from “Alzheimer’s, any form of dementia, or degenerative illness” that would explain why he “simply could not form coherent answers” during the debate, Jean-Pierre responded: “It’s a no.”

Read more: Biden ‘united Democrats and Republicans’ with debate performance – Musk

A new survey conducted by CBS News/YouGov in the wake of the debate found that 72% of registered voters do not believe that Biden has the “mental and cognitive health necessary to serve as president.” The poll indicated that even among Democrats some 45% believe that Biden should withdraw from the race.