Last October, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a bill that would allow Congress to evaluate the mental health of sitting presidents to see if the 25th Amendment — which articulates that if a U.S. president becomes unable to do his job due to fitness issues, then the vice president becomes the president or acting president — would and could apply.
Mrs. Pelosi insisted at the time the bill wasn’t directed at then-President Trump, who she deemed was in an “altered state,” but the need for Congress “to create a process for future presidents.”
Well, Mrs. Pelosi, maybe it’s time to reintroduce the bill. Because President Biden is clearly not up to the task.
The legislation, which was first introduced in 2017 by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, would create an expert panel, with members appointed by both Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate, which would complete a medical exam of the sitting president to “determine whether the President is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.”
Mr. Raskin previously said the panel would include doctors as well as former presidents and Cabinet secretaries, who would each serve a four-year term. I’m sure Mr. Trump would gladly serve on the panel – after all, he was subjected to a Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) while he held office, which he passed with flying colors.
Mr. Biden’s team has repeatedly said he will complete a physical this year, and in May, White House press secretary Jen Psaki agreed to release the results. No such results have been released, and the American public still doesn’t know if Mr. Biden has even received a physical.
Yet, his cognitive health is clearly on the decline.
Last week, while traveling abroad, he mistook Syria for Libya three times in 12 minutes. He forgot how long he was in office. He suffered a memory lapse in a Group of Seven meeting that prompted a correction from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Mr. Biden’s press conferences were tightly controlled affairs where he took questions from preselected media on notecards, answering their questions from talking-point flashcards. When things went off-script, he barked at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, mansplaining if she didn’t understand what he was saying she was “in the wrong business.”
Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as Mr. Trump’s physician, wrote Mr. Biden a letter last week, signed by 13 other Republicans, urging Mr. Biden to take the same MOCA test Mr. Trump did and to make the results public.
“The American people should have absolute confidence in their President. They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties of Head of State and Commander in Chief,” the letter stated. “To achieve this, we urge you to submit to a cognitive test immediately. We implore you to then publish the test results.”
Mr. Jackson cited Mr. Biden’s inability to name his defense secretary earlier this year at a White House event, as well as botching the names of Sen. John Cornyn, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher at a February event in Houston. The letter also cites how many of Mr. Biden’s stories don’t add up when put on a correct timeline, and how he forgot the oft-quoted first line of the Declaration of Independence while on the campaign trail.
“As Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin previously pointed out, with many politicians and the population at-large growing older, ‘It’s not hard to think that there will be future situations where the president’s physical and mental state may create issues for us,’” Mr. Jackson wrote.
Indeed, a precedent was set with Mr. Trump that should be now expected of Mr. Biden — both of whom were elected to president in their mid-to-late 70s.
Mr. Jackson’s letter was gracious, in that it didn’t include Mr. Biden’s multiple falls going up Air Force One earlier this year, or the fact Mr. Biden spends most of his weekends away from the White House in the comfort of his own home in Delaware, with little to no public events.
It’s time that Democrats got a taste of their own medicine – and that Mr. Biden lives up to the promise he made on the campaign trail that he was “very willing to let the American public judge my physical, mental – my physical, as well as my mental fitness and to, you know, to make a judgment about who I am.”