Headline RoundupJuly 8th, 2024

Parkinson's Specialist Visited the White House Eight Times; Comer Requests Testimony From Biden's Physician

Summary from the AllSides News Team

According to White House visitor logs, Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist who specializes in treating Parkinson’s disease, made eight visits to the White House between last August and March. Rep. James Comer (R-KY), Chair of the House Oversight Committee, wrote a letter on Sunday to Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the physician to the president, asking him to provide an interview to the committee, citing his reported decision not to order a cognitive test for President Joe Biden. 

The Details: Cannard met with the White House medical team numerous times, with the first reported visit taking place in July 2023. There is no clear statement on what prompted the frequent visits. Comer has suggested that Biden's physician, O'Connor, could be influenced by his business dealings with James Biden related to Americore. 

Key Quotes: “Has the president been treated for Parkinson’s? No. Is he being treated for Parkinson’s? No, he’s not. Is he taking medication for Parkinson’s? No,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. In his letter to Cannard, Comer wrote, “The Committee now turns to you to provide answers regarding your independence because of the mixed and confused messaging coming from the White House regarding the President’s ability to perform his job... The Oversight Committee is concerned your medical assessments have been influenced by your private business endeavors with the Biden family.”

How the Media Covered It: Media outlets presented varying levels of scrutiny into the matter. Outlets on the right provided a more detailed account of Cannard's visits, while outlets on the left primarily focused on relaying the administration's responses. 

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