President Joe Biden, the oldest president in history, hasn’t released any health data for 17 months but will provide updated information by the end of the year, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
“The President is planning to have a checkup later this year, and the results will be released to the public,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates told the news outlet.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said Biden, 78, would “absolutely” be getting a comprehensive health report and releasing it. But pressed at three briefings over the past six weeks, she’s never pinpointed when that would be, the Post reported.
None of Biden’s immediate predecessors had released physical results by this point in their presidencies but during the campaign Biden vowed to be “totally transparent in terms of my health,” the Post noted.
“When it comes to Donald Trump versus me, just look at us. Okay? Just look at us,” Biden told CNN in September. “Who seems to be in shape? Who’s able to move around?”
Stuart Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago who analyzes the longevity of presidents, told the Post the public should want to know “how our No. 1 employee is doing.”
“You can’t sugarcoat aging. Once you get up to that age, changes do occur more rapidly than when you’re younger,” Olshansky told the Post. “But with Biden, not only are there not warning signs, the signs that you see show he’s in exceptional health.”
Biden released a three-page summary of his medical history in December 2019, written by his doctor and declaring him “healthy” and “vigorous.”
The Post, citing an unnamed White House official, said the December 2019 report was the last time Biden had a physical. It indicated he was treated for an irregular heartbeat, gastroesophageal reflux, and seasonal allergies.
It also showed he had a history of atrial fibrillation, which was discovered during a routine check before he had his gallbladder removed in 2003. Biden has never required any medication or electrical treatments, but he does take a blood thinner. He also uses over-the-counter esomeprazole for gastroesophageal reflux and uses Allegra and Dymista to treat his sinus symptoms. It also noted Biden had no permanent damage from aneurysms he had in 1988, the Post reported.
The report also noted he does not use any tobacco products, does not drink any alcohol, and works out at least five days per week.
Olshansky told the news outlet Biden’s verbal stumbles are a function of his stuttering and not cognitive defect. “There’s no evidence they are related. And usually there’s a political motive … It’s just nonsense,” he told the Post.
“He’s probably on the trajectory of normal aging, and healthy aging because he exercises,” Richard Dupee, chief of geriatrics at Tufts Medical Center who has reviewed the summary released in 2019 by Biden’s doctor, told the Post. “With time, our reflexes get a little bit slower and our ability to sort of recall ability is a little bit less. That’s normal aging … Honestly, I don’t see anything that concerns me.”
“Sometimes where he hesitates with his speeches, he’s had that for a long time,” he added. “He was never a great speech person.”