The Biden administration has frequently promised to be transparent with the media on a range of topics — and White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that vow this week with respect to the president’s health.
When asked whether a comprehensive health report on President Joe Biden would be released, Psaki was clear, asserting: “Absolutely we will do that. I will check and see when he is due to go back to the doctor.”
A history of troubling behavior
Given the prior responses of some Democratic Party leaders to questions on the subject, however, many Americans are clearly skeptical.
Some of the questions surrounding Biden’s health stem from his age. At 78 years old, Biden is the oldest first-term president in the nation’s history.
His frequent gaffes and bizarre behavior have also fueled concerns about possible cognitive decline since at least the Democratic presidential primary race.
At one point on the campaign trail, he apparently forgot the state he was visiting, telling reporters in New Hampshire that he was glad to be in Vermont.
Months later, Biden held an event in South Carolina during which he told attendees that he was seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate. He later confused his wife with his sister after a strong performance in Super Tuesday races.
“We’re going to get a lot done”
Things have not improved much since he was inaugurated earlier this year. At times, the president has appeared to struggle when forming complete sentences, prompting one report that characterized his performance as “excruciating” following his first solo press conference earlier this month.
“I’m going to say something outrageous,” Biden told reporters. “I have never been particularly poor at calculating how to get things done in the United States Senate. So the best way to get something done if you, if it holds near and dear to you that you, uh, like to be able to … anyway.”
As his garbled response trailed off, he added: “I’m — we’re going to get a lot done.”
Despite evidence many critics see as concerning, many of his allies continue to downplay his mental lapses or explain away troublesome behavior.
As Fox News reported, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said that the president’s struggles were primarily the result of a lifelong speech impediment.