Can Americans Trust Biden’s Physician To Be Honest About The President’s Health? Experts Say No
US President Joe Biden following an operational briefing at the DC Emergency Operations Center in Washington, DC, US, on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. Biden touted measures to better protect communities from extreme weather, including plans to impose the first-ever federal standards to shield US workers from heat stress. Photographer: Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg
Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s doctor at the White House is a family friend and a one-time business partner of the president’s brother, ties that warrant serious skepticism of his integrity, according to experts.

White House physician Kevin O’Connor, a primary source of information on the president’s health that the administration has relied on to deflect questions about his fitness, wrote in a letter on Monday that Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical despite records showing a Parkinson’s Disease expert visiting the White House multiple times in the past year.

However, as concerns about Biden’s health swirl following a poor debate performance, experts say O’Connor’s reliability in giving accurate information to the public is not only compromised by a history of White House doctors misleading the public about the president’s health, but also O’Connor’s past business dealings with the president’s family exacerbate the conflicting interests.

“That compounds the problem,” historian Matthew Algeo told POLITICO. “You’re working for the guy you’re examining, and he’s your buddy. It’s just a lose-lose situation.”

Bert Park, a doctor and author of “The Impact of Illness on World Leaders,” said O’Connor’s ties to the Biden family are “one of the many concerns” undermining trust in O’Connor’s public statements on the president’s health

“We cannot depend on the presidential physician to come clean,” Park told the news outlet. “That’s a fool’s game.”

O’Connor’s relationship with the president and his family began when Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration. O’Connor served as the then-vice president’s government-provided physician. The doctor was an Army colonel on the White House medical staff at the time, according to Politico.

After serving Biden for eight years in the White House and advising members of the Biden family on myriad medical issues, including taking a role in the care of Biden’s son Beau who died of brain cancer in 2015, O’Connor left his role as Biden’s physician with the end of the Obama administration.

O’Connor’s relationship with the Bidens then shifted from medical to business after the physician began aiding Joe Biden’s brother, Jim Biden, in a pursuit involving the then-struggling hospital chain Americore. The extent of O’Connor’s work on the venture is not clear, but emails obtained by Politico show Jim Biden and O’Connor coordinating in at least one meeting with an executive of a Pennsylvania hospital soon to be acquired by Americore.

“It was a pleasure to meet with the two of you on Wednesday,” the executive wrote to Jim and O’Connor. “I am very excited about the possibility of bringing help to the Veterans in our area.”

“I truly enjoyed our time together the other day,” O’Connor replied. “You and your team clearly share our vision, and I look forward to seeing you again in coming months.”

White House visitor logs show that Kevin Cannard, a movement disorders specialist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, visited the White House nine times in the past year. At least one of those visits involved a meeting with O’Connor that took place at 5 p.m. ET on January 17.

Medical experts sounding off on Biden’s appearance have said the president seems to be suffering mental and physical degeneration of some kind. Neurologist Tom Pitts said that Biden “definitely” is suffering from Parkinson’s based on what Pitts has seen of Biden’s behavior.

“Oh yeah, I see him 20 times a day in clinic,” Pitts said, referring to his own patients who exhibit the same sort of symptoms as the president, during an interview with NBC News. “It’s ironic because he has just this classic features of neurodegeneration: word-finding difficulties — and that’s not just ‘Oh, I couldn’t find the right word’ — that’s from degeneration of the word retrieval area.”

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