Headline RoundupFebruary 21st, 2024

Should President Biden Submit to a Cognitive Assessment?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Should President Joe Biden submit to an assessment of his cognitive abilities?

For Context: Following Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report earlier this month, in which he characterized Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” some are calling on Biden to submit to a cognitive assessment. Other 2024 presidential candidates, such as Republican Nikki Haley and Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., have raised questions regarding the cognitive abilities of both Biden and his expected Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, 77.

Key Quotes: In a letter signed by 84 House Republicans, the group wrote, “If you are too mentally impaired to stand trial, as your own Department of Justice claims, then we are concerned that your mental state is not at a competent level to serve as the leader of the free world.” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded to calls by stating, “The president proves every day how he operates and how he thinks, by dealing with world leaders, by making difficult decisions on behalf of the American people.”

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum are reporting on calls for Biden to take a cognitive test. The Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) noted that Trump underwent a cognitive test “during the second year of his presidency at age 71 and achieved a perfect score.” An article in Reuters (Center bias) framed coverage around “experts on aging” that argued Biden’s verbal slip-ups do “not necessarily mean a deterioration in mental acuity.”

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