Former Vice President Joe Biden is still in the lead for the Democratic nomination for president. The latest poll has Biden up 28-21 over socialist Bernie Sanders with 18 percent for Elizabeth Warren.
On Election Day 2020, Biden will be a couple of weeks short of turning 78 years old. He appears to be in remarkable health for someone that age, although there have been troubling signs that his mental faculties may be affected by his age.
But unless Biden finds a Fountain of Youth, he’s only going to get older. For an active senior citizen not running for president, Biden would appear to have many good years left to enjoy. But the older we get, the more susceptible our bodies become to the diseases of age, including cancer, serious heart disease, and other maladies that are the norm when our bodies begin to stop working.
And under the enormous stresses associated with the job of president of the United States, how long could Biden’s body stand the strain?
Biden’s physician just gave the former vice president a glowing report on his current health.
“Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State, and Commander in Chief,” Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a statement. O’Connor served as Biden’s doctor from 2009 to 2017, while he was vice president.
“This patient has never required any medication or electrical treatments to address either his rate or his rhythm,” the doctor reported, adding there were “no signs of heart failure” and that his “heart demonstrates a regular pulse rate and characteristically ‘irregularly irregular’ rhythm.”
Some of us might still question his health, despite that green light from his doctor. That’s why getting another opinion of both his mental and physical health is so important.
Barack Obama’s doctor weighed in on the question of Biden’s health and didn’t sound half as optimistic.
“He’s not a healthy guy,” Dr. David Scheiner, who was Obama’s personal physician for 22 years before he became president, concluded after reading the records. “He’s not in bad shape for his age, but I wouldn’t say he’s in outstanding health. Could I guarantee he won’t have issues for the next four years? He has a lot of issues that are just sort of sitting there.”
Of course, Dr. Scheiner has never personally examined Biden. But what does a comparatively neutral observer see that Biden’s doctor isn’t telling us?
The details from the letter made Scheiner, 81, concerned about Biden’s potential for strokes, and he said he would want to see results from an MRI or CT scan. Because Biden also used to have sleep apnea before getting surgery on his sinus and nasal passages, Scheiner said he would also like to review the results of a sleep study.
The report doesn’t mention an MRI despite the fact that Biden had two brain aneurysms in 1988, the first of which almost killed him. Earlier this year, the Washington Examiner interviewed Biden’s former surgeon, who vouched the 2020 front-runner was in the clear.
But the latest health information doesn’t mention details of any checkups that likely occurred to screen for future issues. The report also included mention of surgeries that hadn’t been previously disclosed, including one for an enlarged prostate. Previously, the public only knew Biden had received treatment for the disorder.
Since my heart attacks last spring, I have become extremely well informed on many of these issues. I believe that if Biden is taking anti-cholesterol medicine, he is at much greater risk of heart disease or stroke — a risk that will only increase with age. The problem is the damage done to his arteries before he began the medication. Since the effects are cumulative throughout one’s life, the MRI and a CT angio may reveal more information.
Where Hillary Clinton’s health issues were off the table for discussion, it is vital that Biden’s health become a genuine concern. This is not to say that a 78-year-old can’t serve as president. But the people should be 100 percent informed so they can make an intelligent decision.