White House Press Secy Dodges Questions Over Parkinson Doctor Visit

A heated exchange took place between Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, and reporters on Monday, as she refused to comment on why a specialist on Parkinson’s disease has visited the White House multiple times in the last year.

Some in the medical community have speculated following President Joe Biden’s horrendous performance at the first presidential debate at the end of June that he could be suffering from a neurological illness such as Parkinson’s disease.

On Monday, The New York Times reported that Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist who’s an expert on Parkinson’s disease, has visited the White House eight times over eight months — starting last summer and lasting through this spring. The Times cited visitor logs at the White House for this information.

In August, Canard was the co-author of a research paper that was published close to when his first trip to the White House happened. The research paper focused on how to treat people who have Parkinson’s disease during the early stages.

During Monday’s regular news briefing, a reporter questioned Jean-Pierre about these visits. He asked:

“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?”

Instead of answering that question directly, the press secretary quoted from the annual exam that the president undergoes, which was released in February. That report 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.”

She then added:

“Every year that he (Biden) has this exam, he sees a neurologist.”

Another reporter followed her response up by saying that she hadn’t directly answered the previous question. Her response to that was that the president has been seen by a neurologist during each of the three annual exams he has undergone during his time in the White House.

She said:

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

Jean-Pierre then seemed to try to distract from the matter at hand, saying that thousands of personnel from military branches visit the White House grounds every year, and “many of them get the care from the White House medical unit.”

She then added that, due to security reasons, she wasn’t able to elaborate any more on any of that information.

Responding to another question posed specifically regarding Cannard, Jean-Pierre would only say:

“We cannot share the names of specialists, broadly.”

Even after reporters pressed her further, saying his name appeared on the visitor logs, Jean-Pierre finally said:

“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.

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