Biden says he hasn’t taken and doesn’t need a cognitive test
The presumptive Democratic nominee doesn't understand the focus on his mental capacity
President Donald Trump was 70 when he was elected to the presidency in 2016. If former senator and vice-president Joe Biden is elected, the inauguration will take place in January of 2021 when he will be 78 years old.
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Biden, who is on his third try for the presidency, has been dogged by allegations that he’s losing his cognitive abilities. This is based on a few flubs in public appearances despite a 47-year political career that has been characterized by them.
During the combined virtual National Association of Black Journalists and National Hispanic journalist conference, Biden was asked if he had taken a cognitive test. According to CNN, he bristled at the question.
“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?” Biden said in a testy exchange with CBS reporter Errol Barnett.
“Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”
The full interview is set to air on Thursday.
In June, he told reporters at an event who asked about testing: “I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”
Biden’s supposed decline has been speculated about almost since the beginning of his campaign. While it could just be a campaign strategy from the Trump camp and its supporters, Trump has been on the record boasting about passing a “cognitive test” in what sounds like a dig at Biden.
The cognitive test is widely believed to be the Montreal Cognitive Test which The Washington Post describes as one that helps assess whether or not the person has indicators for various impairments including dementia.
“It’s not meant to measure IQ or intellectual skill in anyway,” Dr. Ziad Nasreddine, who created the test, told The Washington Post. “If someone performs well, what it means is they can be ruled out for cognitive impairment that comes with diseases like Alzheimer’s, stroke or multiple sclerosis. That’s it.”
A shaky appearance at West Point in June had some media questioning Trump’s own fitness when he walked gingerly down a ramp, and then again when he appeared to steady a glass of water he was drinking with both hands.
According to the Post, voters still believe that Biden is fit for office.
In a Fox News poll done late last month, registered voters, by eight points, say they believe that Biden’s mental acuity is fine. In that same poll, voters doubted Trump’s mental health by an 8-point margin.
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As far as further testing for either of the two men is concerned, T.J. Ducklo, a Biden spokesman, told the Post last month, “The only testing Donald Trump should be focused on is the kind we need to get the COVID-19 crisis under control.”
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