Former President Barack Obama’s personal physician of 22 years weighed in, unexpectedly, on former Vice President Joe Biden’s health Wednesday, claiming to the Washington Examiner that Biden isn’t healthy enough to be President and that he’s concerned about the possibility that Biden may be in danger of having a stroke.
Dr. David Scheiner, who treated Obama for two decades before he became president, told the Examiner that Biden is “not in bad shape for his age, but I wouldn’t say he’s in outstanding health. Could I guarantee he won’t have issues for the next four years? He has a lot of issues that are just sort of sitting there.”
It is, of course, strange for Sheiner to weigh in on Biden’s health, given that he hasn’t treated the former Vice President before.
“The details from the letter made Scheiner, 81, concerned about Biden’s potential for strokes, and he said he would want to see results from an MRI or CT scan,” according to the Examiner. “Because Biden also used to have sleep apnea before getting surgery on his sinus and nasal passages, Scheiner said he would also like to review the results of a sleep study.”
Biden released a three-page letter Wednesday attesting to his physical fitness. The letter revealed a mild heart condition, atrial fibrillation, which is treatable with medication, diet, exercise, and regular visits to a cardiologist, and that was the most concerning item on Biden’s list. He also suffers from occasional bouts with high cholesterol — as does President Donald Trump — and has acid reflux and seasonal allergies. He “received multiple physical therapy treatments and surgeries, for various sports medicine and orthopedic injuries.”
Biden has a history of brain aneurysms, which the report acknowledges. Biden had two aneurysms in 1988, one of which landed the then-Senator in intensive care, but the report makes no mention of any current risk, so presumably Biden has the issue under control, though no specialists on the matter are listed among his health care professionals.
Biden is 77 years old, and would be 78 by the time he takes the White House, if he manages to secure the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and then a victory in the 2020 presidential election (both of which are, of course, currently up in the air). If Donald Trump wins a second term as President, he will be 74 when he takes his second oath of office.
Trump hasn’t released many health details — aside from what he is required to submit to Congress as part of a yearly health report — but, at last check, was also in fine health, with some minor complaints similar to Biden’s. Trump did set off a wave of speculation that he might be suffering from health issues last month when he paid an unexpected visit to Walter Reed medical center for bloodwork and a checkup.
Neither is the oldest presidential contender, however. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is 78 years old and recently suffered a mild heart attack while on the campaign trail in Iowa, an incident which suspened his campaign for nearly two weeks.