US Politicians Should Open More Health Records, GOP Senator Says

(Bloomberg) -- Top elected officials such as the US president and members of Congress should release health records, including neurological tests, so people know whether they’re mentally up to the job, Republican Senator Bill Cassidy said.

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Asked about his colleague Mitch McConnell on NBC’s Meet the Press, Cassidy said the Senate minority leader “has handled it perfectly” by having his doctor release neurological test information after questions arose about his recent public freezing episodes.

A congressional physician said last week his exams of McConnell included brain imaging and consultations with several neurologists. No evidence of a seizure disorder or a stroke was detected, the Capitol’s attending physician, Brian Monahan, said in a three-sentence summary of the tests.

Top elected officials should routinely release more medical records confirming their mental capacity, the Louisiana Republican said.

“That should be the standard that folks are held to,” he said. “Shouldn’t there be transparency? Shouldn’t President Biden, for example, release a full kind of neurologic evaluation of his cognitive ability?” Such transparency should also apply to members of the US House and Senate, he said.

McConnell, 81, froze up twice in public over the past two months, igniting concern about his health after he suffered a concussion in March. The Capitol’s attending physician said that McConnell exhibited no signs of a stroke or seizure disorder after an evaluations last week. The minority leader said he would continue to hold his role through the 2024 elections.

Polls also consistently suggest US voters are concerned about President Joe Biden’s age. A CNN poll released Thursday said 73% of Americans are seriously concerned the 80-year-old president’s age might negatively impact his competence, while 76% said they worry he could be too old to serve another full term if he won reelection in 2024.

Vice President Kamala Harris defended Biden in an interview CBS News interview aired Sunday, saying he “is going to be fine.” Biden’s doctor said after a routine physical exam in February that the president is “healthy” and “vigorous.”

Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, has a reputation as a moderate Republican. He’s one of seven GOP members who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his 2021 impeachment trial.

--With assistance from Alicia Diaz.

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