Special counsel Robert Hur released a shocking report Thursday on President Biden’s classified-documents case disclosing the president, in the office’s interviews with him, didn’t remember when his son Beau died.

Though the White House continues to maintain Biden is mentally fit for office, Hur reported that “he did not remember when he was Vice President.”

He was also confused over the debate on leaving Afghanistan.

Hur’s observation that Biden would likely present himself to a jury as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” as a defense against accountability is deeply disturbing.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with most of the American public that Joe Biden at age 81 is too old to run for president. 

I think “we the people” need to consider fitness and mental acuity as opposed to linear age.

And when it comes to fitness, there are very serious questions here.

I have never examined the president, and I am well aware of the limitations of diagnosis or analysis via video clip.

At the same time, you don’t have to be a neurologist or even a physician to notice his problems with gait, memory and orientation, as well as apparent changes in mood.

These can all be signs of faltering cognition, which is directly tied to executive function, flexibility of thinking, problem solving and the ability to lead.

Do you the American public think we need to see an MRI and a cognitive exam?

Do you think Biden’s unforced errors of orientation are simple gaffes or a sign of something worse?

Keep in mind that when it comes to memory, short-term memory tends to leave us first, followed by longer-term memory — which is why I am so concerned by the recent mistakes.

Forgetting Hamas is the terrorist group that attacked Israel and twice saying he spoke with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl at a United Kingdom summit in 2021 — Kohl died in 2017 — rather than former Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended.

In Las Vegas Sunday, relating an encounter with the French president in 2021, Biden referred to François Mitterrand, who died in 1996. 

Perhaps most concerning of all are Biden’s recent assertions that his son Beau died in Iraq when everyone in the country knows he died of a brain tumor, and Biden started his Cancer Moonshot program in his memory.

To prove to myself Biden’s errors aren’t automatic for his age, I spoke with my father, age 100, who I admit is a super-ager and despite multiple medical problems continues to be quite sharp.

His answers magnified the difference between age and fitness.

“Who is the terrorist group who attacked Israel?”

“Hamas,” my father replied without hesitation.

“Who is François Mitterrand?”

“He was president of France, several years ago.”

“Who was Helmut Kohl?”

“I refuse to remember any German leader after World War II, and I still won’t buy a German razor.”

And finally, “What does it mean to you if an elderly person seems to forget how his son died?”

“I remember when my mother called me by her brother’s name in her latter stages of dementia. It was awful.”

“What do you think of President Biden blaming former President Trump for our border problems, when the number of migrant encounters is five times greater now and still increasing (1 million since October 2023).”

“He is still a crafty politician, but this is also childish,” my father said wisely.

My father is proud of the letter he received from President Biden to mark his 100th birthday, and our president is still not where my grandmother was in her later days.

We must always feel compassion for someone who is raging “against the dying of the light,” to quote Dylan Thomas’ brilliant poem.

But America’s voters must judge Biden as a leader, not as someone’s struggling grandparent.

Marc Siegel, MD, is a clinical professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Health and a Fox News medical analyst.

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