Biden’s doctor ‘met with Parkinson’s disease specialist at the White House’

Joe Biden with physician Kevin O'Connor during his time as Barack Obama's vice president
Joe Biden with physician Kevin O'Connor during his time as Barack Obama's vice president - David Lienemann

Joe Biden’s doctor met with a leading Parkinson’s disease specialist at the White House earlier this year, it has emerged, amid ongoing questions about the US president’s health.

Dr Kevin O’Connor, Mr Biden’s physician, met with Dr Kevin Cannard, a top neurologist, on Jan 17 and Dr Cannard has visited the White House a further seven times in the last year.

Mr Biden has refused to take a cognitive test amid speculation about the state of his health, following a television debate last week, in which he appeared to freeze and forget his lines.

The White House has denied that Mr Biden has a degenerative mental condition, and the president himself has said his debate performance was just “a bad night”.

Dr Cannard, a “movement disorders specialist”, works at the Walter Reed Medical Centre, a military hospital in Maryland where Mr Biden receives his checkups.

The visit was revealed by the New York Post, which reviewed the White House’s visitor logs.

They show that Dr Cannard also met with Megan Nasworthy, an official who liaises with the Walter Reed Medical Centre, in March.

Mr Biden’s health has become a major threat to his reelection campaign after some Democrats called for him to step back from the 2024 election and make way for a younger nominee.

Four senior Democrats privately told colleagues on Sunday they thought Mr Biden should quit the race.

Jerrold Nadler, Adam Smith, Mark Takano and Joseph Morelle, all of whom are ranking members of congressional committees, said the campaign should be suspended, the New York Times reported.

The 81-year-old acknowledges that he does not talk as “smoothly” as he used to, but says he remains at the top of his game in private meetings about government policy.

In an interview with ABC News on Friday, he said only the “Lord Almighty” could tell him to stand down from the campaign, stressing the importance of beating Donald Trump in November’s election.

Asked repeatedly by the network whether he would take a cognitive test to disprove his critics, Mr Biden said he showed his mental abilities “every day” through his work and had not been asked by doctors to complete one.

“No one said I had to,” he said. “No one said… they said I’m good.”

His mental state has faced increased scrutiny in recent days, and Mr Biden has further fuelled speculation by making further gaffes.

In a radio interview on Thursday, he said he was “proud” to be the “first black woman to serve with a black president”.