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Joe Biden still ‘fit for work’ at 81, doctor says, although president avoided cognitive tests

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Joe Biden ‘continues to be fit for duty’ after his annual physical exam, which did not include a cognitive test, his doctor says

Dr. Kevin O’Connor found the 81-year-old man to be in good health after examining the US president at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for more than two and a half hours.

He wrote in a memo that Mr. Biden “is a healthy, active, robust 81-year-old man who remains fit to successfully fulfill the duties of the presidency.”

He added that Biden “feels well and this year’s physical revealed no new problems,” after last year’s exam. I discovered a cancerous lesion.

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Returning to the White House with the medical green light, Mr Biden told a crime-fighting event that “there is nothing different than last year” when it comes to his health.

Joe Biden leaves Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his annual exam.  Photo: AP
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Joe Biden leaves Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after his annual exam. Photo: AP

The oldest US president ever also joked about his age, telling police chiefs “they think I look too young” while waving at watching reporters.

As Mr Biden underwent a physical exam, questions were raised about why the 81-year-old did not undergo a cognitive test as part of his annual appointment.

Speaking on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Dr. O’Connor and Biden’s neurologist “do not believe he needs” a cognitive exam, and added: “He takes a cognitive test every day, every day as he moves from one topic to another, understanding the granular level of those topics.

“It’s very rigorous work, and the president has been able to do this work every day for three years.”

U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris (not pictured) meet with congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2024. REUTERS/Leah Milis
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At 81, Joe Biden is the oldest American president in history. Photo: Reuters

But its review came after a report on Mr. Biden’s handling of classified documents. described the president’s memory as ‘fuzzy’ “unclear”, “defective”, “poor” and having “significant limitations”.

Special counsel Robert Hur chose not to pursue criminal charges against Mr. Biden, but claimed he did not recall in interviews his time as vice president or the death of his son, Handsome Biden.

At a terse press conference on the day the report was released, Mr Biden insisted “my memory is good”.

Allies called for affirming that the president’s memory is bad “a bucket of BS“, while the White House spokesperson Ian Sams blasted ‘gratuitous remarks’ as “false and inaccurate”.

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Biden gaffes that made headlines

Polls show Americans disagree with the president’s defense of his memory and age, with just 37% of Democrats saying Mr Biden should run again in an Associated Press poll -NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

These figures are down from 52% recorded before the 2022 midterm elections.

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