Representative Ronny Jackson, a Texas Republican who previously served as the White House doctor during the Trump administration, was criticized after he suggested that President Joe Biden needs a "cognitive exam" after Biden mistakenly told the White House press pool that he has COVID-19.
Biden made the error while attempting to tell the White House press pool that Vice President Kamala Harris' husband, Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, had tested positive for the virus.
Biden said the “First Lady’s husband” contracted COVID but was quickly corrected by a staff member.
The incident prompted Jackson to declare that Biden is "LOST" and that he "needs a COGNITIVE EXAM now!!"
The suggestion Biden is "mentally frail" has become a favorite talking point in conservative circles.
However, claims Biden has a cognitive impairment are unfounded.
In September 2020, ABC News reported the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withheld intelligence warning of Russian disinformation attacking Biden to promote "allegations about poor mental health."
The intelligence bulletin, titled "Russia Likely to Denigrate Health of US Candidates to Influence 2020 Election," said American intelligence determined Russian operatives are sowing disinformation to convince the American electorate Biden has dementia and would be unfit to serve in office.
But the fact that the bulletin has discredited allegations about Biden's mental health has not stopped prominent conservatives from claiming that Biden is very much at the mercy of his handlers.
Jackson was immediately criticized.
This isn't the first time Jackson has suggested that Biden is cognitively impaired.
Last August, Jackson claimed Biden is no longer “cognitively prepared to be our president,” joining the chorus of Republicans who criticized Biden over his administration's handling of the crisis in Afghanistan that unfolded when the Taliban stepped into the power vacuum following the fall of Kabul.
At the time, Jackson said the United States is "looking horrible right now on the world stage" and called for him to resign because "it’s time for him to move on and it’s time for somebody else to do this job."
Just months before, Jackson sent a letter to Physician to the President Kevin O’Connor and Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci demanding that Biden take a cognitive test. 14 House Republicans also signed the letter.
Jackson has been a largely controversial figure since his days as the White House doctor. During a January 2018 press briefing, Jackson vouched for Trump's health, saying his neurological functions are excellent and assuring the press corps that he would be able to serve his entire term.
Jackson was widely mocked after adding that Trump likely had "incredible genes" that allowed him to remain healthy despite a lack of exercise and a taste for fast food.