Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Another Barrier to Re-Election

What is Jennifer Rubin thinking?

This Parkinson's controversy appears to be a tempest in a teapot or for those born after circa 1960, a lot of nothing.  Emily Baumgaertner and Peter Baker of The New York Times note that Dr. Kevin Cannard

a neurologist who specializes in movement disorders and recently published a paper on Parkinson’s. The logs, released by the White House, document visits from July 2023 through March of this year. More recent visits, if there have been any, would not be released until later under the White House’s voluntary disclosure policy.

It was unclear whether Dr. Cannard was at the White House to consult specifically about the president or was there for unrelated meetings. Dr. Cannard’s LinkedIn page describes him as “supporting the White House Medical Unit” for more than 12 years. His biography on Doximity, a website for health professionals, lists him as a “neurology consultant to the White House Medical Unit and the physician to the president” from 2012 to 2022, which would include the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump.

Records from the Obama administration, when Mr. Biden was vice president, show that Dr. Cannard made at least 10 visits in 2012 plus a family tour; four in 2013; one in 2014; four in 2015; and eight in 2016. Mr. Trump rescinded Mr. Obama’s voluntary White House visitors disclosure policy, so records are not available for his four years in office.

In all the Parkinson's hoopla, no one from the media seems curious about no records being available for the Trump White House since the time that then-President Trump decided to shut the media out of information. Aside from the Times article, there is little attention paid to the statement of White House spokesperson Andrew Bates that in his annual physical, President Biden "has been seen by a neurologist once a year" and that "examination has found no sign of Parkinson's and he is not being treated for it."

That's not to suggest all is well with President Biden's health. However, less well is the individual representing the President to the press, hence to the voting public:

If the press secretary is to serve the President effectively, she should not get into such an extended argument with a reporter. Nor should she say "for security reasons, we cannot share names" when 

At her regular briefing later in the day, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, refused to answer questions about Dr. Cannard’s visits, saying she would not discuss specialists who come to the White House out of concern for their “privacy” and “security,” even though Dr. Cannard lists his affiliation with the White House on a public website.

Ed O'Keefe, the CBS News correspondent Jean-Pierre quarreled with, had earlier in the exchange identified Dr. Cannard by name. And yet, the press secretary claimed "for security reasons, we cannot share names".... a name which already had been "shared" on a public website.

This is not simply a matter of transparency. The name was out there. The problem is with a press secretary who has been simply awful from the beginning of her tenure. Admittedly, on a list of the President's problems, this is probably only #41 or so. Similar to Biden's cognitive issue, it is one more matter which the White House has ignored. Jean=Pierre has improved somewhat, yet her presence remains one more obstacle to Joe Biden's re-election, one which should long ago have been removed.

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