White House rejects rumors that Biden has Parkinson’s disease

US President Joe Biden is not being treated for Parkinson’s disease and has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physicals, the White House said, after the New York Times reported that visitor records showed a doctor specializing in the condition visited the White House at least eight times from August to March.

Concerns that Biden may be suffering from an undisclosed illness have grown since he stumbled, appearing shaky and at times losing his train of thought, during his June 27 debate against Republican Donald Trump.

White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor released a letter Monday night saying Biden had not seen a neurologist outside of his regular annual physical.

Biden faces criticism from some Democrats who say he lacks the mental capacity to run against Trump in the Nov. 5 presidential election. But Biden has said he will not abandon his campaign, telling MSNBC by phone Monday that he is “not going anywhere.”

A Reuters review of White House visitor records showed that Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist and movement disorders specialist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, visited the White House eight times between August and March. Cannard is a co-author of a study on treating early-stage Parkinson’s disease at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

O’Connor said Cannard’s visits to the White House were part of his neurological consultations aimed at supporting “thousands” of active-duty military personnel assigned to support White House operations, not to treat the president.

Cannard’s visits to the White House were first reported by the New York Post on July 6.

A former White House official who worked for Biden when he was vice president under President Barack Obama and when he was president was treated by the same doctor for migraines in 2016, the former official told Reuters.

The doctor came to the White House once a month as part of his rotation, the person said.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to confirm or provide further details about Mr. Cannard’s visits earlier in the day. During the news conference, she was frequently challenged by reporters and said she wanted to respect the privacy of everyone involved for security reasons.

She said Biden had seen a neurologist three times as part of his annual physical. She did not explain Cannard’s presence at the White House, but suggested it could be related to the treatment of some military personnel who work at the White House complex.

“There are thousands of military personnel who come to the White House and they are under the care of the medical unit,” she said.