Biden’s doctor explains Parkinson’s doctor’s visits to White House

The Biden administration released a letter late Monday night explaining the eight visits a Parkinson’s disease expert quietly made to the White House over as many months.

The letter was sent hours after White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre blocked reporters from asking questions about the matter.

“I’m just not going to do that,” Jean-Pierre said, repeatedly citing “security” and “privacy” reasons. “It’s inappropriate. It’s not acceptable.”

The questions came shortly after a New York Post Report released Saturday revealed that Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist at Walter Reed Medical Center, visited President Joe Biden’s White House residence in January.

The New York Times reported Monday that Cannard’s name appears in logs eight times in eight months between July 2023 and last March. Any visits since then cannot be released, as per protocol under the White House’s voluntary disclosure policy, according to the Time.

The letter dated Monday night, attributed to White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor, states that Cannard does not examine the president every time he visits the White House. Instead, the physician, a consultant on neurology in the White House Medical Office since 2012, conducts regular clinics for other people in the White House.

“Before and after the pandemic,” O’Connor noted, “he has held regular neurology clinics at the White House Medical Clinic to support the thousands of active-duty members assigned to support White House operations.”

O’Connor did say, however, that Cannard has tested Biden every year since he took office in 2020 as part of a regular checkup. The latest test found no evidence of Parkinson’s disease, he added.

“President Biden has not seen a neurologist other than his annual physical,” O’Connor wrote.

The doctor’s written comments confirm some of what Jean-Pierre said earlier Monday during the press conference. She told reporters that Biden had met with a neurologist three times in three years, including just once in February, which yielded “no findings” consistent with neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease.

Jean-Pierre confirmed during her remarks that Biden has never been treated and is not currently being treated for Parkinson’s, nor is he taking any medications normally used to treat the disorder.

Biden has a verbal check-in with his medical team “a couple of times a week,” she added.

However, the spokesman repeatedly refused to acknowledge the details of Cannard’s recorded visits over the past year, citing respect for the doctor’s privacy.

“We have thousands of service members coming to this White House, many of whom are receiving care from the White House Medical Unit, so we have to be super careful,” she said.

“The medical unit has a wide range of specialists, from dermatologists to neurologists, and so I can’t speak to everyone because there are actually security reasons to protect their privacy,” she added. “We respect and protect people’s privacy, so … I’m not going to share people’s names here.”

At a particularly contentious point during the press conference, CBS News senior White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe fired back, lamenting the reactions to what he described as a “very basic, direct question” about whether Cannard’s visits had anything to do with Biden.

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

Cannard, who recently published a paper on Parkinson’s disease, did not respond to the Time’ or the The New York Post requests for comment about his visits. The logs do not indicate whether he met with Biden or visited the White House for other reasons.

Some online profiles of Cannard describe him as a physician who worked in a “support” role for the White House medical unit for 12 years. He made 10 visits to the White House in 2012, when Barack Obama was in office. His visits during the Trump presidency are unknown because Trump repealed the policy of making visitor logs public.

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