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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Joe Biden’s Claims of Cognitive Tests Unclear as Campaign Hides Results

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Joe Biden told reporters on Wednesday he has taken a cognitive test, used to detect mental issues, but his campaign will not specify what exactly that means or if it will release the results of whatever test he took – if he actually took a test.

“I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested,” Biden said when asked at his first press conference in three months if he is experiencing cognitive decline issues.

Biden did not specify during the press conference exactly what he meant by his claims he has been and is “constantly tested.” His campaign has not replied to a number of follow-up requests from Breitbart News as to whether he means he took the same test that President Donald Trump aced, or if he took a different test, or if he was just speaking colloquially, claiming that his daily rigor is what tests his cognitive capabilities. Also, Biden was possibly confused by the question, in which he was asked if he has been formally tested on this front.

If Biden did actually take a formal cognitive function test, it is unclear if he will release the results of that test–as President Trump has with his own such test–to the public, as Biden’s campaign has not answered when asked if he would.

Biden did release a medical assessment conducted by his physician last year in December concluding he was “healthy” and “vigorous” as well as “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”

The three-page assessment, conducted by Dr. Kevin O’Connor of the GW Medical Faculty Associates, does not include any mention of a cognitive test that Biden may or may not have taken at the time. It also makes no judgment or recommendation when it comes to Biden’s cognitive abilities, only speaking to his physical health.

O’Connor, who served as a Navy doctor, was Biden’s doctor during his time as Vice President. He left the military for his current role, where he has continued as Biden’s doctor, after the Barack Obama presidency concluded, according to the three-page assessment.

In 2018, President Trump took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. It was administered by then-White House Physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, according to the New York Times:

Dr. Jackson said that despite expressions of concern, a cognitive test was not indicated for Mr. Trump and he had not planned to conduct one at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where the president underwent his annual physical on Friday.

Dr. Jackson said that Mr. Trump received a score of 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a well-known test regularly used at Walter Reed and other hospitals.

“This has been the narrative for a while. He saw doing the physical as an opportunity to put some of that to rest,” Jackson said while discussing Trump’s results. “He actively asked me to include that in it, so we did.”

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment is copyrighted by Dr. Zaid Nasreddine, Neurologist at the MoCA Institute and Clinic in Canada.

“Each cognitive task in the MoCA test assesses a distinct cognitive function which is related to a specific neuroanatomical area,” Nasreddine told Breitbart News.

“The test is meant to be quick cognitive scan of various cognitive skills that may be affected by neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Vascular Cognitive Impairment, two conditions that are very common after age 70.”

The Veterans Affairs department has published a copy of the one-page assessment on its website. It contains a series of mental tasks intended to gauge a patient’s memory, language and perception, word recall and orientation, attention and concentration, and verbal fluency.

For example, a patient draws a clock with the hands reading “ten past eleven,” and obtains points based on the contour, numbers, and hands.

In the naming section, drawings of a lion, rhinoceros, and camel appear. The patient receives one point for each correct answer.

The patient is also quizzed about the date, month, year, day, place, and city. A total of six points can be earned in that section.

The test states a patient is rated as “normal” with a score of 26 or higher. One point is added if the subject has 12 or more years of education.

Trump reportedly wants Biden to take the same test. The Washington Post reported on June 22nd:

…Trump said he thought presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden would never be able to pass it and suggested challenging him to take the test, said the people familiar with Trump’s comments, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share private details.

But, despite Biden’s claims to have been regularly tested for his cognitive capability, as of now it is unclear, at best, if he was telling the truth–or, at worst ,if he was confused by the question from Fox Business Network’s Doug McKelway. His campaign could clear this up by actually releasing the results of a doctor-administered test, like the one Trump took and passed, but it is unclear whether Biden actually took such a test or if he was speaking off the cuff. He did claim he is excited to compete against Trump in this arena.

“I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against,” Biden said on Wednesday.

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays. Listen to segments on YouTube. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.


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