In Heated Exchange, KJP Will Not Say If or Why Parkinson's Specialist Has Repeatedly Been at White House


White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not say Monday if or why a Parkinson’s disease specialist had been to the White House several times over the last year.

There has been speculation among some in the medical community since President Joe Biden’s disastrous June 27 debate performance that he may be suffering from Parkinson’s or another neurological illness.

The New York Times reported Monday, neurologist Dr. Kevin Cannard, a Parkinson’s disease expert, had been to the White House eight times in eight months from last summer through the spring, based on visitor logs.

Last August, Cannard co-authored a research paper, published around the time of his first visit to the White House, about treating the early stages of Parkinson’s.

“Could you state very clearly, yes or no, was that expert here to participate in anything surrounding the care of the president of the United States?” a reporter asked Jean-Pierre during a news briefing on Monday.

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The press secretary quoted from the health summary of the president’s annual exam released in February, which stated, “An extremely detailed neurological exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or ascending lateral sclerosis.”

“Every year that he has this exam, he sees a neurologist,” Jean-Pierre said.

A reporter followed up, saying Jean-Pierre had not answered the question and prompting her to respond that Biden has seen a neurologist during each of his three annual exams.

“So I am telling you that he has seen a neurologist three times while he has been in this presidency,” Jean-Pierre said.

The press secretary further stated, thousands of military personnel come on the White House grounds each year and “many of them get the care from the White House medical unit.”

Jean-Pierre said there are security reasons why she could not go into more detail.

A reporter then asked specifically about Cannard.

“We cannot share names of specialists, broadly,” Jean-Pierre answered.

A heated back-and-forth followed, with the reporter wondering why she could not confirm the nature of Cannard’s visits, given his name is listed on the White House visitor logs.

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“It doesn’t matter how hard you push me. It doesn’t matter how angry you get with me. I’m not going to confirm a name. It doesn’t matter if it’s even in the log. I’m not going to do that from here. That is not something I am going to do,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I am not, I am not going to divulge someone’s name or confirm someone,” she reiterated. “I am not going to do that. That is privacy for that person.”

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta argued last week that he believes Biden should “undergo detailed cognitive and movement disorder testing.”

Has Biden seen a Parkinson's specialist?

In a Friday piece for CNN, the neurosurgeon wrote that he and more than a dozen colleagues that he’s been in touch with were “concerned with [Biden’s] confused rambling; sudden loss of concentration in the middle of a sentence; halting speech and absence of facial animation, resulting at times in a flat, open-mouthed expression.”

He added, “To be clear, these are only observations, not in any way diagnostic of something deeper, and none of these doctors wished to suggest that was the case.”

Biden has repeatedly characterized his poor debate performance as a “bad night” caused by working late, having a cold and jet lag.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith