A former White House doctor-turned-Republican-congressman who once said he had “absolutely no concerns” about former President Donald Trump’s cognitive ability is leading a group of House Republicans calling for President Joe Biden to take a cognitive test.
Rep. Ronny Jackson of Texas, who was also the White House physician for former President Barack Obama and a member of the White House Medical Unit under former President George W. Bush, led more than a dozen of his fellow Republicans in a letter to the President demanding he take a cognitive test. Aside from Jackson, the only other doctor listed on the letter is Rep. Brian Babin, a dentist by trade.
“We believe that, regardless of gender, age, or political party, all Presidents should follow the precedent set by former President Trump to document and demonstrate sound mental abilities,” the Republicans wrote, adding that when Trump subjected himself to that test performed by a White House doctor, he “excelled.”
Jackson was the White House physician who administered that test in 2018, and said at the time that he “found no reason whatsoever to think that the President has any issues whatsoever with his thought process.” He also added that Trump had “incredible genes.”
Just a few months later, Trump nominated Jackson to become his Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs. But in April 2018, Jackson withdrew from consideration after a flood of allegations from current and former colleagues, which Jackson denied, claiming that—among other things—Jackson improperly prescribed drugs to staff and was intoxicated on the job. The following year, Trump appointed Jackson as his chief medical advisor.
Jackson went on Fox News Thursday night and cited Biden’s recent trip to Europe, during which Biden was bashed by conservative media for—among other things—mixing up Syria and Libya, as the reason he was sending the letter now.
“Unfortunately, your forgetfulness and cognitive difficulties have been prominently on display over the past year. Unfortunately, your mental decline and forgetfulness have become more apparent over the past eighteen months,” the letter says.
“After this most recent embarrassing enforcement performance overseas, I thought it was time to come out. We can't sit on this any longer," Jackson told Sean Hannity. "I know what the rigors of this job are, both physically and cognitively demanding... he's not physically or cognitively fit to be our president right now."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from VICE News but said last month that Biden would be receiving a physical later this year and would release the full results. The last time Biden released his medical information was in 2019, when his doctor declared him to be “healthy” and “vigorous.”