For anyone who may still believe that President Joe Biden’s Cabinet should consider removing him from office per the 25th Amendment because he is “unfit to serve,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s doc, says otherwise.
In a six-page report released Friday afternoon, O’Connor declared Biden “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency” — though he did note that Biden has a cough that is growing worse caused by gastroesophageal reflux.
Oh, and the president walks a bit more stiffly than he used to.
The report did not reveal any bombshell medical findings as justification for Biden getting a physical, which included a colonoscopy during which Biden went under anesthesia, requiring him to hand his presidential powers to Vice President Kamala Harris for around 85 minutes.
Reports noted that Biden’s physical and procedure, which took place at Walter Reed Medical Center near Washington, D.C., was not on his daily schedule. When pressed about it later by reporters, White House press secretary Jen Psaki wouldn’t provide any details including when the president’s appointment was first made.
That said, O’Connor noted that he was primarily interested in checking out Biden’s stiffening gait and his worsening cough. He reported that the colonoscopy showed nothing remarkable and was “reassuring,” though he wrote that ” a single, 3 mm, benign appearing polyp was identified in the ascending colon [and] was removed without difficulty.”
The cough has been a focal point for reporters and others who follow presidential politics this year. Psaki has often had to answer questions about whether the president, who turns 79 on Saturday, is healthy enough to serve.
“The President has experienced increasing frequency and severity of ‘throat clearing’ and coughing during speaking engagements,” noted O’Connor in his report, adding that Biden was also subjected to a number of tests to examine the issue, all of which confirmed previous the previous diagnosis that the coughing is due to excessive stomach acid.
“There were no tumors or polyps, and his vocal cord appearance and function were normal. Tracheal, esophageal and pharyngeal epithelium did show changes associated with persistent gastroesophageal reflux,” the doc wrote.
He added that Biden has had “several sinus and nasal passage surgeries” in the past to clear congestion.
O’Connor also noted that “the President’s gait appears to be perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it has been in the past.” He added that Biden told him he experiences “early morning stiffness that improves throughout the day.”
“A combination of significant spinal arthritis, post-fracture ‘limp and compensation’ and a mild sensory peripheral neuropathy of the feet are the explanation for the subtle gait changes which I was investigating,” O’Connor wrote.
Notably, O’Connor did not mention anything about Biden’s mental fitness, which has been a subject of conversation since his 2020 campaign. Many times he appeared to be confused and at a loss for words; it wasn’t clear, though, if O’Connor subjected Biden to any sort of testing to gauge his mental capacity.
In addition, the New York Post reported that a recent survey found that nearly half of Americans — 48 percent — said they disagreed with the statement, “Joe Biden is mentally fit.”
And last month, a separate poll from Harvard/Harris found that more than half of respondents, 53 percent, said they have at least some doubts about Biden’s fitness to serve. Also, 58 percent said they think he’s too old to be president.
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