ABC News medical correspondent won't say if Biden physically up to the job: 'I'm not his physician'

There were 'glaring omissions' in release of Biden's physical exam, Dr. Jennifer Ashton says

ABC News' chief medical correspondent wouldn't say Friday on "The View" if she thought President Biden was physically up to the job, stating that she wasn't his doctor.

Biden's mental health is under the microscope more than ever in 2024 as he seeks a second term. He was declared physically fit for the presidency after his annual exam this week, and Dr. Jennifer Ashton was asked for her opinion on the ABC talk show about how he compared to other 81-year-old men. 

Ashton quipped that she couldn't handle the rigors of the presidency as a 54-year-old woman, but added there were "glaring omissions" in the physical report released to the public.

"We do what’s called a review of systems any time we do a physical exam on someone," she said. "That includes not only just general neurologic evaluation, but a mental evaluation, a screening for depression or psychiatric illness, mental illness, anxiety — not in there. Cognitive exam — not in there."


Dr. Jennifer Ashton, left, appears on "The View" on Friday. (ABC / Screenshot)

Ashton said the report appeared to be comprehensive in the opinion of Biden's physician, but "if you're a health care professional, you know what things have not been in there."

"The question is, can he do the job, and it looks like he can," co-host Joy Behar said, appearing to encourage Ashton to agree.

Ashton shrugged and replied, "I am not his physician, but again, he does have a qualified physician, and it was a thorough report, but something is missing."

Ashton serves as chief medical correspondent for ABC News and "Good Morning America." Earlier on "The View," she expressed progressive views on abortion rights, saying she wished the government would stay out of her uterus. 

The White House released the results of Biden's physical exam on Wednesday afternoon, after he took Marine One to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to receive the examination.

In a release from Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the Physician for the President, Biden was declared fit to "successfully execute the duties of the presidency."

"President Biden is a healthy, active 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief," the release said.


Biden speaks at White House

President Biden speaks to the National Governors Association during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 23. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Biden often appears stiff while walking, but O'Connor said his gait had not worsened in the past year. 

The President's physical exam comes after the White House confirmed that Biden would not take a cognitive test as part of his examination.

"I'm just gonna say what Dr. O'Connor said to me about a year ago when [Biden's physical] was released," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said this week. "The president proves every day [in] how he operates and how he thinks, by dealing with world leaders, by making difficult decisions on behalf of the American people — whether it's domestic or it's national security."

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