Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden has finally returned to the public eye. After three months without a major public appearance, Biden is back in the limelight. While his appearance was mostly free of any trademark gaffes, the same concerns remain regarding his cognitive health.
Biden Holds 30 Minute Press Conference
Joe Biden discussed a number of things during his press conference. These topics include his running mate selection and the allegation that Russia Taliban bounty program. However, after the 30-minute press conference, one did not walk away with a clearer understanding of his platform.
Regarding whether he has continued to campaign during the pandemic, he said, “I have traveled, but what I do, I get in, make my case, leave, take questions and leave. But you know me, I’d much rather be out there with people because I can get the best feel, by the look in their eyes to see what their concerns are.”
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He went on to discuss how communicating through television also has this personal feel to it, at least for the audience.
“You all, particularly those of you who are with television stations, you all know that when you’re on, you’re having a one-on-one conversation with somebody out there, because there’s one person in the TV looking at you. I never thought of it that way before.”
As one may infer by reading the quotes above, Biden’s mental health remains of great interest to the public.
Cognitive Health Front and Center
Opinion: Why Fox News thinks the "cognitive decline" attack on Biden will work https://t.co/CK1Hq8yH8g
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 1, 2020
Granted, the 30-minute press conference seemed exhaustively rehearsed, and featured some softball questions from the media. Still, by the standards of Bidens other public appearances in 2020, it went quite well. The press conference was mostly gaffe-free. However, a looming question remains, even though it was briefly addressed at the end of the conference.
The one difficult question posed by reporters came at the very end of the presser. When asked directly if Biden had been tested for cognitive decline, Biden said “I’ve been tested. I’ve been tested constantly” as a response. He added that he could “hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”
The challenge will likely be welcome by the Trump team, who have focused like lasers on Biden’s cognitive health since he clinched the Democratic nomination. The Washington Post condemned the conservative effort to paint Biden as mentally impaired. Wrote the Post, “Fox News has been relentlessly pushing the line that Joe Biden might be suffering from dementia.”
However, while liberal media outlets have claimed this to simply be a conservative conspiracy, Americans across the aisle seem to share concerns about the presidential nominee’s cognitive health. A recent poll found that 40% of likely voters already believe Biden has cognitive impairment. That includes 20% of Democrats and 30% of independents. 60% of those polled feel that Biden should address questions regarding his mental acuity.
After a campaign full of apparent lapses in mental sharpness, the public has made clear that Biden will need to assure voters that his faculties are still there. Vague assurances of “constant” testing for cognitive decline will not assure voters. If anything, such a statement has the opposite effect.
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