The White House won't explain why a Parkinson's specialist visited 8 times in 8 months

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  • A Parkinson's disease expert repeatedly visited the White House between last summer and this spring.

  • On at least one occasion, Dr. Kevin Cannard met with President Joe Biden's White House doctor.

  • It's not immediately clear what Cannard's visits entailed.

The White House is refusing to say why a Parkinson's disease expert met with President Joe Biden's doctor earlier this year.

In fact, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, won't even confirm that the meeting took place — even though Biden voluntarily discloses most visitors to the West Wing, an Obama-era transparency initiative that President Donald Trump scrapped.

"I'm not going to confirm a name," Jean-Pierre said during a tense exchange with the CBS reporter Ed O'Keefe. "It doesn't matter even if it is in the log. I'm not going to do that from here."

Here's what we know about the expert's visits

Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurological expert, visited the White House eight times in roughly eight months, though it's unclear what his trips entailed.

According to his biography from Doximity, Cannard is a neurologist and movement-disorders specialist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He was also described as a neurology consultant to the White House medical unit from 2012 to 2022. In August 2023, Cannard published a research paper in the journal Parkinsonism & Related Disorders on the early stages of the disease.

During at least one of his visits, Cannard met with Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, in January. It's unclear whether Cannard has visited the White House since March, as the Biden White House only discloses visitor information on a delayed basis. Cannard traveled to the White House eight times from August 2023 to March of this year.

Cannard did not immediately respond to a message Business Insider left for him.

Biden's health has received renewed attention in the wake of a disastrous debate performance in which he sometimes struggled to finish his sentences and stared off into the distance on other occasions. Five Democratic lawmakers have since publicly called on the president to drop out of the 2024 race. Biden has adamantly declared he's not going anywhere.

Since the debate, Biden has repeatedly declined to commit to taking a cognitive test. He has said that the rigors of serving as commander in chief are a de facto test of his capabilities.

In February, O'Connor said Biden was "fit for duty" and able to be president "without any exceptions or accommodations," according to a six-page summary of the president's health. The Washington Post, citing an unnamed White House official, reported that O'Connor has not recommended that Biden take a cognitive exam. According to the February health summary, Biden received "an extremely detailed neurological exam" that ruled out the possibility of Parkinson's disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or other similar disorders.

The New York Post was the first outlet to write about one of Cannard's visits to the White House. On Monday, The New York Times published a more extensive report on Cannard's visits, citing both current and Obama-era White House visitor logs.

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