Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-fury-grows-at-white-house-as-karine-jean-pierre-admits-she-misled-reporters-about-parkinson’s-expert-visiting-bidenAlert – Fury grows at White House as Karine Jean-Pierre admits she MISLED reporters about Parkinson’s expert visiting Biden

The White House has been forced to make yet another embarrassing clarification after Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said a meeting between the president’s personal physician and a neurological specialist was not related to Joe Biden’s personal care.

In fact, it was part of Biden’s annual physical, she has been forced to admit. 

It is the most recent gaffe by officials as the nation’s oldest ever president fights for his political life amid questions about his fitness for the job. 

The clarifications have led to a growing sense that his aides are being less than straight with Americans about the health of the 81-year-old. 

On Monday, Jean-Pierre had to explain why she told a press conference Biden had not been checked by his doctor after his disastrous debate performance, when in fact he had been seen by Dr. Kevin O’Connor. 

Then a day later, she had to issue a statement admitting that Biden had met neurologist Dr. Kevin Cannard for an exam despite publicly saying the opposite at a press briefing hours earlier. 

‘Because the date was not mentioned in the question, I want to be clear that the Jan. 17 meeting between Dr. O’Connor and Dr. Cannard was for the President’s physical,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement to the AP. 

‘It was one of the three times the president has seen Dr. Cannard, each time for his physical. The findings from each exam have been released to the public.’

The White House has stumbled to explain Cannard’s frequent visits to the White House ever since they became public at the weekend.

On Monday, Jean-Pierre refused to even confirm his name, citing security and privacy concerns, sparking fury among reporters who pointed out that the visits were reported in visitor logs.

A day later she was still struggling with questions about the nature of his visits. 

‘Can you say whether that one meeting [between Cannard and O’Connor] was related to care for the president himself?’ she was asked

Jean-Pierre replied: ‘I can say that it was not.’

Her subsequent clarification will do little to ease the sense of crisis enveloping the White House nor the sense that its press operation is not selling his side of the story.

Biden has been under intense pressure to end his reelection effort ever since he delivered a stumbling debate performance last month, filled with awkward silences and non sequiturs.

George Clooney became the latest high-profile supporter to demand he stand aside on Wednesday.

Biden’s health has dominated the daily White House press briefing. But on Monday, it was Jean-Pierre who was immediately under scrutiny amid accusations that officials were being less than transparent. 

‘My first question to you is on the credibility of this White House when it come to talking about the president’s health,’ is how the Associated Press’s Zeke Miller, former president of the White House Correspondent’s Association, opened things up.

She insisted she had not meant to give misleading information when asked if Biden had had a check-up after the debate. 

‘I did not mean to steer anybody wrong. I was still thinking about the medical exam. I was still thinking about the physical,’ she said. ‘That’s how I answered the question.’

Things only became more acrimonious later when she was asked about why Cannard had made eight visits in eight months.

She said she could not comment for security and privacy reasons. 

‘You’re not answering a very basic, direct question,’ shouted Ed O’Keefe of CBS News.

‘I am telling you he has seen a neurologist three times, the press secretary said, explaining that he had been examined by a neurologist each time he had a physical. ‘So that is answering that question.’

But what about Cannard’s visits? Were they what she was talking about?

‘I hear you guys, guys, hold on a second,’ said Jean-Pierre.

‘There’s no reason to get back and go back and forth with me in this aggressive way.’

It was only later that evening that the White House set the record straight, explaining that Cannard was indeed the physician who conducted the neurological examination of the president for his annual medical.

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