Trump Backs Ex-White House Doc’s Demand Biden Take a Drug Test Before Debate

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Donald Trump is throwing his considerable weight behind his former physician’s demand that Joe Biden submit to a drug test immediately before and after Thursday’s presidential debate, endorsing the doctor’s baseless claim that the incumbent is operating on “performance-enhancing drugs.”

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who served as White House physician between 2013 and 2018, treating both Trump and Barack Obama, announced his intention to send a letter requesting Biden take the tests in a Sunday interview on Fox News.

“Because we see—we have seen recently in his State of the Union address—that there was a Joe Biden that came out that was not similar at all to what we see on a day-to-day basis for the last 3.5 years,” Jackson added.

“And there’s just really no way to explain that, other than he was on something, that they’d given him medications.”

Trump, who backed Jackson’s 2020 congressional campaign, praised the lawmaker for his remarks on Truth Social on Monday, saying that Jackson “happens to be totally right.”

He also shared a copy of Jackson’s letter, dated Monday and addressed to Biden and his physician, Kevin O’Connor.

In his appearance on Sunday Morning Futures, Jackson speculated that Biden was using the week hunkered down at Camp David to tinker with the alleged cocktail of drugs he’s supposedly taking.

“He’s going to be there at Camp David for a full week before the debate, part of that is probably experimenting with getting the doses just right,” Jackson said.

“They have to treat his cognition, give him something to help him think straighter, to wake him up for his alertness and then, you know, he’s been agitated. We see that all the time. And that’s a common symptom or sign of this cognitive disorder that he seems to be suffering from.”

The congressman told host Maria Bartiromo that he’d previously sent five letters to the White House demanding Biden be subjected to tests.

In 2020, Jackson echoed similar comments prior to a Trump-Biden debate, alleging Biden was using memory-enhancing drugs in private to strengthen his debate performance.

Jackson is not the only legislator calling for the president to prove his mettle. Rep. Earl Carter (R-GA) sent a letter to Jeff Zients, Biden’s chief of staff, expressing “serious concern” about the president’s “fragile mental state.”

“As a consultant pharmacist for several decades, I have treated patients in nursing homes and recognize the signs of cognitive decline,” Carter wrote on Monday, according to Fox News Digital.

The voices challenging the 81-year-old Democrat’s abilities as he seeks a second term in office have grown louder in recent months as he’s been caught on camera slurring his words, mixing up the names of foreign dignitaries, and blanking on dates.

The White House has largely refused to entertain Biden’s critics. Politico reported on Friday that it had reached out to Biden’s team to jokingly ask if he planned to juice himself up for the debate—and had received a stony-faced response.

“It’s telling that Republican officials are unable to stop announcing how intimidated they remain by [the] President’s State of the Union performance,” spokesperson Andrew Bates said. “... [It] tracks that those same Republican officials mistake confidence for a drug.”

Trump, at 78, has faced similar accusations of cognitive decline, with clips of him rambling incoherently or confusing his words at rallies regularly going viral online. At an event earlier this month, he misidentified Jackson as “Ronny Johnson” while bragging about how awesome his own brain is.

“Does everyone know Ronny Johnson, congressman from Texas?” Trump asked a Detroit crowd. “He was the White House doctor, and he said I was the healthiest president, he feels, in history, so I liked him very much indeed, immediately.”

Biden campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu brought the incident up when asked about Jackson’s claims on CNN last week.

“The other day, you may remember, he was trying to question our president’s mental acuity and he could not remember the name of his own doctor,” Landrieu remarked. “So tell President Trump: Bring whatever he’s got.”

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