Is Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden showing signs of “early dementia” – or is that unfair talk? Recently, we have been told to follow science – by the CDC, National Institutes of Health, and endless Democrat leaders. So how about we follow science … on dementia?
As most know, warning signs include memory, counting, reasoning and language. Repeat memory loss, confusion over times and places, difficulty problem solving, forgetting names, disorientation, poor judgment, withdrawal from socializing, mood spikes are signs – at Biden’s age. https://www.medicinenet.com/early_warning_signs_and_stages_of_dementia/article.htm.
Biden is 77, which can mean nothing – or something. How does this play into voter evaluations of fitness for high office, where he would control American lives, liberty, and nuclear weapons?
If Biden were elected, he would be the oldest president ever sworn in – eight years older than when Trump was sworn in, nine older than Reagan. Still, age is not disqualifying.
In brief, dementia is “loss of thinking ability,” which grows over time. Between five and eight percent of adults above 65 have dementia. That number doubles every five years – so, 10-16 percent over 70, 20-32 percent over 75, perhaps 25-35 percent over 77. Thus, Biden’s chances of dementia – on hard science – lie between 1 in 4, and 1 in 3. They are non-trivial. See, https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/types-dementia#1.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, brilliant people age 105, but more will fall within rules than outside them. Put differently, while 60 to 80 percent of those with dementia have Alzheimer’s, mental capacity tends to decline over time. Additionally, 80 percent of those with Alzheimer’s are over 75. See, https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures.
In Biden’s defense, he has often demonstrated the fine art of linguistic lapse, gaff, ludicrous and laughable misstatements, with outsized exaggeration, fictionalization, pure fib, senatorial foppery and – famously in 1988 – shameless misappropriation of another person’s work and words, actually an entire speech, known outside the political world as “plagiarism.”
Also, in Biden’s defense, experts make clear occasional lapses of memory are nothing to worry about. They are not the same as dementia. “Dementia cannot be diagnosed from afar” as “a person needs a detailed doctor’s exam for a diagnosis …sometimes brain imaging.” Moreover, “forgetting an occasional word – or where you put your keys – does not mean a person has dementia.” See, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-09-word-dementia.html.
So, that settled, where exactly is Biden? On one hand, resisting cognitive tests, only he and his doctor know if he has clinical signs of dementia or impaired capacities. Still, voters need to think on this issue. On the science, Biden has a non-trivial chance of dementia. If proven, he would serve impaired or be forced to transfer power to Kamala Harris, equally frightening.
So, does he or does he not? Can we know or never know? We have eyes, ears, and Biden to judge on. Before reviewing a litany of slips, note Biden has been testy in interviewers. See, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/510643-biden-gets-in-testy-exchange-with-reporter-who-asked-if-hes-taken-a.
Even CNN friends in 2019 wondered if Biden was just preparing to hand off power. https://www.dailywire.com/news/curl-cnn-editor-suggests-joe-biden-could-step-aside-for-kamala-harris; https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/29/politics/joe-biden-age-2020-debate/index.html. If so, one might ask – as a matter of judgment: Is that right, using moderate Democrat credentials to get enter history, then handing power to an opportunist, and likely socialist?
About the errors, are they serious symptoms or bad luck? What should voters think? The list is too long to print, even with Biden ducking social interactions for months, until June 30. See, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/biden-holds-press-conference-for-first-time-in-months/ar-BB16atib.
Still, consider jaw-dropping lapses: On September 3, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, scene of a police shooting, Biden told a church audience he needed to stop talking “or they’ll shoot me” – to a shocked response. See, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-awkward-theyll-shoot-me-quip-kenosha
On September 2, Biden confused facts again – blaming “a Trump-supporter” for “inciting response” and getting killed by a “bullet from the crowd,” when the Trump supporter was intentionally killed by an avowed Antifa member, for whom an arrest warrant for second-degree murder was issued – and who was later killed by police. See, https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/police-seek-witness-to-fatal-downtown-portland-shooting/283-6f5e462a-8a36-403d-8bec-7d937615f4d4?ocid=uxbndlbing.
On August 31, Biden said “COVID, this year, has taken more than 100 years …” He likely meant 100,000 lives. See, https://hannity.com/media-room/biden-covid-has-taken-this-year-more-than-100-years-look-the-lives-when-you-think-about-it/. .
On August 27, Biden could not complete a CNN interview without script, needing another one to tell Harris she was selected. In a July MSNBC interview, Biden did not understand “woke,” and thought it meant “work,” then said he was “constantly tested” cognitively – then declined a test.
In summer, race became part of the election lexicon, and Biden reverted to form. Having said “poor kids” are “just as bright as white kids,” he told a black CBS reporter he no more needed a cognitive test than that reporter needed a “drug test,” then said Latinos were “incredibly diverse” by contrast to blacks. In May, Biden told a black host he “ain’t black” if he does not vote for Biden, fist talking him down and then implying independent thought was not allowed.. See, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/09/us/politics/joe-biden-poor-kids.html; https://apnews.com/6cbd8c13529fee67c42e417175c425e5; https://freebeacon.com/2020-election/biden-if-you-dont-vote-for-me-you-aint-black/.
In New Hampshire, Biden thought he was in Vermont; in Iowa, Biden thought he was in Ohio; in South Carolina he forgot where he was. In April, he identified the last president as Bush. In California, he took his wife Jill’s hand, and very sweetly called her Valerie, his sister’s name.
In March, Biden started the first line of the Declaration of Independence, and promptly forgot. He declared excitement over Super Thursday but meant Super Tuesday. In February, he declared at a dinner, that he was running for Senate, forgetting he was running for President.
During the campaign, Biden has forgotten familiar words, places, and names, missed basic geography, got utterly disoriented, forgotten where he was, misplaced himself in time, become confused, fallen asleep on camera, pulled from socializing, evinced mood swings, and had trouble speaking. See, e.g., https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/02/biden-gaffe-machine-running-list-joe-bidens-best-slip-ups/; https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2019/09/13/joe-biden-9-gaffes-lies-awkward-moments-in-third-primary-debate/; https://www.newsweek.com/joe-biden-gaffes-quotes-2020-election-1323905.
Essential question: Is Biden fit? Some will say, sure – this is all good fun. Some will say, forgive and look to Harris. Others will say, on the science Biden has a “non-trivial chance” of dementia. In the end, these unnerving missteps are – at least – very poor judgment. That should be reason enough not to vote for Biden, shall we say, on the political science.