The White House finally confirmed Wednesday that President Joe Biden, 80, would be completing his physical on February 16 - with the results released later that day.
'I know folks are wondering why it hasn't happened yet. This was literally a matter of scheduling around what has been an incredibly busy schedule for the president the past several months, evolving travel schedule in recent weeks, as you have seen for yourself,' press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. 'But we have a date in the books.'
The president has said he intends to run for the White House again in 2024, though couched the comments by suggesting it would depend on his health.
Biden told reporters on Thanksgiving that he had completed part of his annual physical already, but intended to have it finished by the end of the year.
More recently, Jean-Pierre said the health assessment would be done by the end of January.
The White House finally confirmed Wednesday that President Joe Biden, 80, would be completing his physical on February 16 - with the results released later that day
'I know folks are wondering why it hasn't happened yet. This was literally a matter of scheduling around what has been an incredibly busy schedule for the president the past several months,' press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained
'He will have one before the - by the time the end of this month is out,' Jean-Pierre said during the January 23 briefing. 'He - we will share the information. We will have more to share about that before the month is over.'
But Biden was on the road for the final days of January, first to Camp David, then to Wilmington, Delaware - so first lady Jill Biden could attend the Philadelphia Eagles playoff game - to Baltimore on Monday and then New York City on Tuesday.
The delay has given Republicans a political opening - allowing them to tie it to claims that the White House lacked transparency, especially in the wake of the ongoing classified documents scandal.
Biden's last physical was completed and disclosed on November 19, 2021 - nearly 15 months ago.
At that time, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the Physician to the President, declared that Biden was a 'healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old' but didn't indicate if any cognitive tests were performed.
Earlier this week, Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a former medical doctor, told The Washington Examiner that he believed the doctor should perform a cognitive test.
'I think it would be important to see a very thorough and comprehensive cognitive function study that is released with transparency to the general public,' he said. 'The American people want to know that their commander-in-chief is fully capable of performing at the highest level to protect the safety and security of the nation.'
Biden is known to be gaffe-prone, from the awkward 'where's Jackie?' in September - when the president called out in the audience for a dead congresswoman - to last week's calling of the wrong name of Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia.
Former President Donald Trump famously boasted in July 2020 that he asked his doctor to allow him to take a cognitive test to 'shut these people up,' referring to those critiquing his mental fitness to hold office.
'It was 30 or 35 questions. The first questions are very easy. The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question,' Trump said in an interview with Fox. 'It's like, you'll go "Person, woman, man, camera, TV." So, they say, "Could you repeat that?" So, I said, "Yeah. So, it's: Person, woman, man, camera, TV." OK, that's very good. If you get it in order, you get extra points,' Trump explained.
The president the said that 10 minutes later he was asked to repeat the words in order again and did so successfully.
'"Can you do it?" And you go, "Person, woman, man, camera, TV,"' Trump said. 'They say, "That's amazing, how did you do that?" I do it because I have, like, a good memory. Because I'm cognitively there,' he said.
The clip went viral and was used for fodder by comedians.
Trump, 76, announced in mid-November that he would again be seeking the White House in 2024.