Fauci and the medical experts gave Biden a memory pass

Dr. Fauci’s feeble attempt to explain away the president’s mental fog is another illustration of why Americans don’t trust the supposed experts.
Dr. Fauci’s feeble attempt to explain away the president’s mental fog is another illustration of why Americans don’t trust the supposed experts.

Summary

They ignored the president’s obvious cognitive troubles and then attacked anyone who pointed them out.

Asked last week by CBS News’s Major Garrett whether President Biden had the “vigor and mental capability" to continue serving, Anthony Fauci equivocated: “In my interactions with him, I have no doubt." Did the former National Institutes of Health leader find anything medically alarming about the president’s debate performance? “I think it would be inappropriate to say that, Major, because when you’re just looking at someone on a one-shot basis, you just don’t know what could happen."

Still, Dr. Fauci couldn’t help but wonder: “Did he have a bad cold, you know? Did he take an antihistamine to make him, you know, groggy, or what have you?" He declined to answer his own questions because it would be “unfair and inappropriate to try and diagnose something from just a 90-minute clip." The president’s debate stumbles looked to him “like a bad night."

Never mind that the 90-minute debate wasn’t a “clip," or that the president’s confusion wasn’t a “one-shot" incident. But who you gonna believe, Dr. Fauci or your lying eyes and ears?

Dr. Fauci’s feeble attempt to explain away the president’s mental fog is another illustration of why Americans don’t trust the supposed experts. They dissemble when it suits their political purposes and frequently disparage anyone who dares challenge their deceptions. They have done so with Mr. Biden’s cognitive troubles, as they did with Covid lockdowns, school shutdowns, mask mandates and the virus lab-leak theory. The list goes on.

Mr. Biden’s increasing slips over the years have been apparent to anyone paying attention. Yet when conservatives have pointed them out, medical experts, marshaled by the liberal media, have played them down.

Before the first Trump-Biden 2020 debate, Fox News commentator Brit Hume noted that the Democratic nominee, then 77, appeared to be losing it mentally. “I don’t think there’s any doubt Biden’s senile, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to show up tonight," he said. “Elderly people experiencing memory loss and other problems associated with age can go for periods, for hours at a time and be just fine."

Mr. Hume was right. Mr. Biden managed to remain cool and coherent during the 2020 debate, even as Mr. Trump huffed and puffed. PolitiFact later published a “fact check" of Mr. Hume’s remark, citing “experts in the health care of older people." One called his characterization of Mr. Biden “a shameful display of ageism and ignorance."

But sure enough, Mr. Biden’s stumbles became more frequent with time. Last June the president bizarrely pronounced “plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean." In two separate incidents the same month, he mistakenly referred to Ukraine as Iraq.

The press ignored such blunders until special counsel Robert Hur’s report in February on Mr. Biden’s handling of classified documents. Defending his decision not to bring charges, Mr. Hur observed the president was a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory" who in interviews couldn’t recall when his term as vice president ended, nor when his son died.

In a press conference after the Hur report’s release, Mr. Biden referred to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi as the “president of Mexico." Days before he had confused former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron with dead predecessors.

Cue the experts. Short-term memory declines with age, but “wisdom can increase because the individual has a greater backlog of experiences and different situations as to what is the best thing to do," Thomas Wisniewski, an Alzheimer’s specialist at NYU Langone Health, told NBC.

Mr. Biden’s “ ‘memory’ issues highlighted in the media are not so much cases of forgetting as they are of difficulties in the articulation of facts and knowledge," UC Davis psychology professor Charan Ranganath wrote in a New York Times op-ed. Mr. Biden’s mistaking world leaders’ names? A byproduct of his stutter, which “demands prefrontal resources" to manage.

Such disavowals increased with Mr. Biden’s lapses. Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscience professor Earl Miller told the Washington Post in May that “the really important thing to keep in mind is that the older brain’s a wiser brain."

After Mr. Biden’s floundering debate, two Yale University professors, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and Harlan Krumholz, posited in a Newsweek op-ed that “the most probable explanation" was “a side effect of cold medications." Mr. Sonnenfeld, a management professor, in 2021 convened a meeting of CEOs to denounce Georgia’s election integrity law.

Remember how the liberal media sought to discredit lockdown contrarians because they weren’t epidemiologists? Now, the media gives a megaphone to any arm-chair expert who proffers an alternative explanation to the obvious for Mr. Biden’s debate debacle.

The press is belatedly starting to acknowledge Mr. Biden’s frailties now that they’ve become impossible to conceal from Americans—just as it did the damage of school shutdowns. Perhaps Democrats could persuade Dr. Fauci to diagnose the president with long Covid, which would let him step aside and blame Mr. Trump for his incapacity.

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