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White House Says Biden is ‘Fit for Duty’ in New Health Summary

The state of the 80-year-old's health has been questioned throughout his time in office

The White House has released a summary of President Joe Biden’s health nearly 15 months after releasing the last results of his annual physical.

Biden has been plagued by concerns about his health after multiple videos of him appearing disoriented or seemingly forgetting words appeared online.

“The President remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations,” wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s personal physician, in the Feb. 16 report.

O’Connor wrote that he had conducted a “comprehensive review” of the president’s medical history in addition to the physical examination at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“The most notable interval history for this past year was the President’s very extensively reported upper respiratory infection from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19),” the doctor reported. Biden contracted COVID-19 twice in 2022 between July 21 to July 27 and then again on July 30 through Aug 6.

“Fortunately, having been fully vaccinated and twice boosted at the tie of the initial infection, the President experienced only mild symptoms, consisting mostly of a deep, loose cough and hoarseness,” wrote O’Connor.

O’Connor noted that Biden has begun clearing his throat more because of gastroesophageal reflux and that the president’s “perceptibly stiffened gait” has been caused by “degenerative (‘wear and tear’) osteoarthritic changes” in his spine. 

“The President’s gait remains stiff, but has not worsened since last year,” the doctor wrote.

Speculation about changes in Biden’s stride has led some to conclude the president is suffering from a neurological disorder, possibly Alzheimer’s.

Public figures including Megyn Kelly and Joe Rogan have speculated that Biden is suffering from dementia.

During an appearance on Sky News Australia, Kelly said that Biden had recently asked for Representative Jackie Walorski, who died in a car accident one month earlier, while speaking at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September.  

O’Connor said he did not find any evidence of neurological issues during his examination. 

“An extremely detailed neurologic exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder, such as a stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or ascending lateral sclerosis,” O’Connor summarized. “This exam did again support a mild peripheral neuropathy in both feet. He did not demonstrate any motor weakness, but a subtle difference in heat/cold sensation could be elicited.”

O’Connor’s report did not mention any changes in Biden’s speech, which has been described as slurred. 

“President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State, and Commander in Chief,” O’Connor concluded. 

The White House last released an update on Biden’s health on Nov. 19, 2021. 

We want to be transparent,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Feb. 14 when asked about the report’s impending release. “We want to make sure you have the information, and it will be coming from the physician.”

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