Eight visits in eight months: what is a Parkinson’s specialist doing at the White House?

The White House confirmed on July 8 that Dr. Cannard, a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s disease, “had evaluated President Biden three times, specifying that these tests were part of the president’s annual physicals,” reports the Washington Post.

The rumor had already been circulating in the American media since last weekend, but it is an article from New York Times, published on July 8, which listed eight visits by Dr. Cannard to the White Housewhich sparked the curiosity of journalists during a particularly tense press briefing with White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. Since the televised debate on June 27, the media wonders on Joe Biden’s health, while his candidacy for a second term is contested within the Democratic camp.

Under media pressure, the White House finally decided to make public a letter signed by the president’s treating physicianKevin O’Connor, in which he confirms that the neurologist had indeed examined Joe Biden “as many other specialists do every year, including a cardiologist, an orthopedist or even a dentist” as part of the annual health check of American presidents.

“No neurological disorders”

The official letter from the president’s personal physician also states that the examination performed by Dr. Cannard on President Biden “did not produce any findings that could be linked to Parkinson’s disease or other neurological disorders”.

Finally, the letter states that Dr. Cannard, a neurologist attached to Walter Reed military hospital, “has seen many patients at the White House for a dozen years” and that he was not chosen because he is a specialist in movement disorders, but because “His extensive experience in neurology makes him a valued and versatile advisor for evaluating and treating a wide variety of pathologies”.

On February 28, White House physician Kevin O’Connor said that Joe Biden, the oldest sitting president in American history, was “fit to exercise his functions and fully assume all his responsibilities” after his annual medical examination, adding: “President Biden is a healthy, active and strong 81-year-old man.”

In an article published on July 8, the site Politico rHowever, Dr. O’Connor noted that “who is at the center of speculation about the president’s health, is a close friend of the Biden clan and even, for a time, helped the brother of the White House tenant, Jim Biden, to do business”.

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