White House Doctor Tries to Explain Why He Met With a Parkinson’s Expert


After a disastrous press briefing Monday with reporters who are no longer buying her spin, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre enlisted the help of President Joe Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, to explain why a Parkinson’s specialist visited the White House many times over the past three years. The visits were never voluntarily disclosed by Jean Pierre’s team and hidden from the press. 


In a letter released late Monday night, Dr. O’Connor states that it is normal procedure for Dr. Kevin Cannard, a Parkinson’s specialist, to be at the White House. He also explained that Dr. Cannard evaluated President Biden but found no issues. 

The text of the letter in full: 

I wanted to share with you background on why Dr. Kevin Canard visited the White House.

To protect patient privacy for the thousands of patients of the White House Medical Unit and the physicians who treat them, normally we do not disclose the names of the specialists we work with.

However, in the interests of accuracy, I have obtained permission from the President and Dr. Cannard to confirm the details I am sharing.

Dr. Cannard has been the Neurology Consultant to the White House Medical Unit since 2012. He was chosen for his breadth of experience and expertise across the specialty of Neurology. Prior to his Movement Disorders fellowship at Emory University, he had practiced as a general neurologist for six years. He is the longest serving Neurologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and in the Military Healthcare System. He has been a member of the faculty at the Uniformed Services University’s medical school since 1991 and is core faculty of the Neurology Residency Program. He has numerous local and national teaching awards, and is highly regarded for his clinical skills. These qualities make him a valued and versatile consultant to assess and treat a wide variety of conditions. Prior to the pandemic, and following its end, he has held regular Neurology Clinics at the White House Medical Clinic in support of the thousands of active-duty members assigned in support of White House operations. Many military personnel experience neurological issues related to their service, and Dr. Canard regularly visits the WHMU as part of this General Neurology practice. We value the contributions he has made across the many patients he has treated in support of the White House and its personnel over these years.

As I have written in each of the President’s medical reports, as part of the President’s annual physical, he sees a team of specialists that have included Optometry, Dentistry, Orthopedics (Foot and Ankle), Orthopedics (Spine), Physical Therapy, Neurology, Sleep Medicine, Cardiology, Radiology, and Dermatology. Dr. Cannard was the neurological specialist that examined President Biden for each of his annual physicals. His findings have been made public each time I have released the results of the President’s annual physical. President Biden has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical.

The results of this year’s exam were detailed in my February 28th letter: “An extremely detailed neurologic exam was again reassuring in that there were no findings which would be consistent with any cerebellar or other central neurological disorder, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s or ascending lateral sclerosis, nor are there any signs of cervical myelopathy. This exam did again support a finding of peripheral neuropathy in both feet. No motor weakness was detected. He exhibits no tremor, either at rest or with activity. He demonstrates excellent fine motor dexterity.

But a subtle difference in heat/cold sensation could be elicited as it was last year. This heat/cold sensation deficit was detected a couple of inches higher on his ankle/calf this year, which is not unexpected. There may; in fact, be day to day subjective variation of these findings, as during last year’s exam, this area of sensation deficit was actually found to be smaller than the year before.”

Seeing patients at the White House is something that Dr. Cannard has been doing for a dozen years.

Dr. Cannard was chosen for this responsibility not because he is a movement disorder specialist, but because he is a highly trained and highly regarded neurologist here at Walter Reed and across the Military Health System, with a very wide expertise which makes him flexible to see a variety of patients and problems.



Former White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, who treated President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump, isn’t buying it.