Ronny Jackson
© Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA
Former WH physician Rep. Ronny Jackson
More than a dozen Republican House members, led by former White House doctor Ronny Jackson, asked President Biden Thursday to undergo a cognitive test and release the results "so the American people know the full mental and intellectual health of their President."

"The American people should have absolute confidence in their President," reads the letter to Biden in part. "They deserve to know that he or she can perform the duties of Head of State and Commander in Chief. They deserve full transparency on the mental capabilities of their highest elected leader."

Jackson (R-Texas) told Fox News Hannity Thursday night. "We can't sit on this any longer. After this most recent embarrassing performance overseas, I thought it was time to come out [with the letter]."

The letter, which is copied to chief White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci and current White House Physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor, claims that Biden's "mental decline and forgetfulness have become more apparent over the past eighteen months."


Examples Jackson (R-Texas) cites of Biden's "mental decline and forgetfulness" include an incident from March when the president appeared to forget the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
"I want to thank the sec — the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs that outfit over there,"
Biden said March 8 while announcing the nomination of two female generals to lead US military combatant commands.

The letter also cites remarks Biden gave in Texas this past February when he visited the state following a deadly winter storm. According to Jackson, Biden
"misidentified the time of day and Senator John Cornyn's title, and you mispronounced Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee's first name and Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher's maiden name of Pannill. Then, apparently forgetting the purpose of your visit, you questioned, 'what am I doing here?'"
Biden Abbott
© Patrick Semansky/AP
US President Joe Biden, Governor Greg Abbott • Harris Co. Emergency Operations Center
A third example given by Jackson recounts an abortive attempt by Biden to recite the first line of the Declaration of Independence in March 2020, during which he said:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women are created by the, you know, you know, the thing."
"Most school-age children could recite that famous and revered patriotic phrase by heart, but you could not," Jackson writes.

The letter does not cite any examples from Biden's recent week-long trip to Europe, such as when he tried to remind British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that he hadn't introduced the president of South Africa during a roundtable discussion at the G7 summit - only to be reminded that Johnson had done just that.

Jackson told host Sean Hannity:
"I just think that he's not inspiring confidence in the American people. He's not inspiring confidence in our allies overseas, and more importantly, he's sending the wrong message to our adversaries overseas. This is a dangerous situation right now. I feel like we really need to know what's going on, Sean."
Jackson, a former Navy admiral who worked in the White House Medical Unit for more than a decade, first received national attention in January 2018 when he gave an unusually detailed briefing on then-President Donald Trump's health. Jackson described the 45th president as being in "excellent" health and noted he had "no concerns" about Trump's cognitive abilities. Jackson recalled:
"The mainstream media and the far left and the Democrats, they were relentless in the pursuit of me when I was taking care of President Trump, just demanding that he have a cognitive test, that he have a physical exam that included a cognitive test. They said that every president should have that. It should be the new standard, and we should know that our commander in chief and our head of state is capable of leading the nation.

"And so we did. We submitted to that. President Trump ... had a perfect score on his cognitive test, an outstanding performance, and I'm just saying that is the new standard, that the precedent has been set and I'm asking Joe Biden and his medical team to get out there and to get this physical exam done, get this cognitive testing done, and get the results back to the American people."
In March of that year, Trump nominated Jackson to head the Veterans' Administration. Jackson later withdrew his nomination amid claims he improperly prescribed medication — particularly opioids — to White House staff (earning him the moniker "Candy Man"), drank on the job, created a hostile work environment, and got so drunk at a Secret Service party that he crashed a car.
Jackson/Tenney
© Scott Applewhite/AP/Ting Shen/AP
Ronny Jackson (R-TX) • Claudia Tenney (R-NY)
Jackson, who was elected to Congress in 2020, criticized the allegations as "baseless," "completely false" and "fabricated." However, a Pentagon watchdog report released earlier this year found that he made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy on drinking alcohol on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that caused his colleagues to worry about his ability to provide proper medical care.

The letter is signed by Jackson and 13 other Republicans, including Reps. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), W. Gregory Steube (R-Fla.), Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.), Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), Jerry L. Carl (R-Ala.), Pat Fallon (R-Texas), Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.), and Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas).