Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician-turned-GOP congressional candidate, told reporters on Tuesday that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is mentally unfit for office, citing what he called cognitive decline.
“I’m pretty familiar with what it takes both physically and cognitively to do that job and what the demands of that job are,” Jackson, 53, who is currently running for Congress as a Republican, said on a call organized by the Trump’s campaign.
Jackson said that he was speaking as a “concerned citizen” and not as a Republican congressional candidate. “As a citizen, not as a candidate running for Congress, but as a citizen of this country, I’ve watched Joe Biden on the campaign trail and I am concerned and convinced that he does not have the mental capacity, the cognitive ability, to serve as our commander-in-chief and our head of state,” he said.
“I really think that he needs some type of cognitive testing before he takes over the reign as our commander in chief if that is in the cards,” Jackson added.
Jackson served in the White House medical unit under George W. Bush and was appointed Physician to the President under Barack Obama and President Trump before he was nominated to serve as Secretary of Veteran Affairs in March 2018.
The Navy rear admiral, who famously declared that Trump could live to 200 years old, was forced to withdraw his nomination after allegations of misconduct including drinking on the job and over-prescribing drugs — charges he vehemently denied.
Jackson insisted that he wasn’t providing a medical assessment on the call and told reporters that he never took care of Biden while he was Obama’s vice president or evaluated him as a patient.
“I am not making a medical assessment. I actually don’t even practice medicine at this point. I am not doing that,” Jackson said. “I am not trying to remotely diagnose him with anything. I have not accused him of having Alzheimer’s or anything of that nature. I have not made that statement.”
Jackson mentioned a handful of instances from Monday when Biden, who was campaigning in Ohio, could not remember the name of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) including repeatedly claiming to be a candidate for the Senate, not the White House.
In a response to Jackson’s comment, Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement, “I refer you to the first debate.”