White House briefing fueled with emotion as KJP says Biden not being treated for Parkinson’s

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White House officials defended President Biden’s health and denied he was ever treated for Parkinson’s disease, despite a meeting between an expert on the disease and the president’s physician earlier this year.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fielded a barrage of questions when it came to the president’s health, particularly when it came to recent reports that a top neurologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center met with Biden’s physician at the White House in January.

Reports of the Jan. 17 meeting surfaced as the 81-year-old president faces increased scrutiny over his age and mental acuity in the wake of a poor debate performance on June 27 in Atlanta.

When asked about the physician’s meeting, Jean-Pierre said the White House has publicly shared that over the past three years, Biden has undergone a comprehensive exam, which included a meeting with a neurologist.

Jean-Pierre said the most recent report from February stated that an ‘extremely’ detailed neurological exam was given, assuring there were no findings which would be consistent with any central neurological disorder, like stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s.

‘Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No,’ she told reporters after being pressed further on the matter. ‘Is he being treated for Parkinsons? No, he’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No. So, those are the things that I can give you full-blown answers on.’

Dr. Kevin Cannard, a Parkinson’s disease expert, met with Dr. Kevin O’Connor and two others at the White House residence clinic on Jan. 17, records first reported by the New York Post show. 

Dr. John E. Atwood, a cardiologist at Walter Reed, also attended the 5 p.m. meeting, according to White House visitor logs. The fourth person in attendance has not been identified. 

The New York Times reported that Cannard visited the White House eight times in eight months over the last year. In its reporting, The Times said Cannard is a neurologist who published a paper on Parkinson’s recently.

White House logs show Cannard visited from July 2023 through March 2024, and anything more recent would not be released until later because of the White House’s voluntary disclosure policy.

The Times also reported that records dating back to when Biden was vice president under the Obama administration, that Cannard visited 10 times and took a family tour in 2012, four times in 2013, one time in 2014, four times in 2015 and eight times in 2016.

Early during the press briefing on Monday, Biden’s national security spokesperson John Kirby was asked if he had seen the president appear similar to the way he did during the debate.

Kirby told the reporter the last thing he was going to do was talk about every meeting he has ever had with the president, adding that he is the president’s spokesperson.

‘What I can tell you is, what I saw in that debate is not reflective of the man and the leader and the commander in chief that I have spent many, many hours with over the last two and a half years in terms of the specificity of the way he probes the questions he asks,’ Kirby said. ‘Just this morning, he was asking me questions about the situation on the European continent that I couldn’t answer, and I told him I had to get back to him.’

As the meeting progressed, reporters continued to show frustration with White House officials for not being straight forward, even accusing the president’s communications team of answering questions then coming back and clearing up what they said previously.

Still, after taking an onslaught of questions from reporters trying to get every single detail about the president’s health and whether he was still fit to serve as president, with some members of the press questioning her credibility, Jean Pierre expressed frustration.

Jean-Pierre told members of the press she takes offense to the demeanor of the reporters, as every day she and her team meet with them during a press briefing, and they do their best to provide the information they have at that time.

‘That’s what we do, and we understand that freedom of the press. We respect the freedom of the press,’ Jean-Pierre said. ‘To say that I’m holding information or allude to anything else is unfair, it is really, really unfair. I think people who are watching and have been watching this briefing for the past week, could say that we are doing our best in this briefing to provide the information that we have.

‘I will be the first one to admit, sometimes I get it wrong. At least I admit that,’ she said. ‘And sometimes I don’t have the information. And I will always, always admit that. But I do take offense to what was just happening at the beginning of this briefing. It’s not OK.’

Fox News Digital’s Chris Pandolfo and Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.

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