Karine Jean-Pierre ripped after tense exchange with press over denial of Parkinson's treatment for Biden

'DEI hire goes to victim mode': Karine Jean-Pierre ripped after tense exchange with reporters over denial of Parkinson's treatment for Biden
President Joe Biden's press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced a stormy press briefing where White House officials were accused of hiding details about his health (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: On Monday, July 8, the White House faced a stormy press briefing where officials were accused of hiding details about President Joe Biden's health. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre struggled to maintain control amid a barrage of questions about whether the 81-year-old president was being treated for Parkinson's disease.

Jean-Pierre confirmed that President Biden had been examined by a neurologist three times but refused to disclose why a specialist in Parkinson's disease had visited the White House eight times in eight months. She cited privacy and security concerns for withholding further details.

"He has seen a neurologist three times," Jean-Pierre said, explaining that Biden had been examined by a neurologist each time he had a physical.

Heated exchange with reporters

The usually docile front row of reporters became unusually aggressive, demanding more transparency. "Ed, a little respect please," Jean-Pierre told CBS News senior White House correspondent Ed O'Keefe, who wanted to know why she was not prepared to discuss details of Dr Kevin Cannard's visits, which were already a matter of public record.


"You’re not answering a very basic, direct question," shouted O'Keefe. "I am telling you he has seen a neurologist three times," Jean-Pierre responded, trying to regain control. "So that is answering that question."

"But what about Cannard's visits? Were they what she was talking about?" O'Keefe hit back.

"I hear you guys, guys, hold on a second," said Jean-Pierre. "There's no reason to get back and go back and forth with me in this aggressive way."

The president's health has been under intense scrutiny since his stumbling performance during his first debate with Donald Trump. Democratic donors and nine elected representatives have urged him to step aside for a younger candidate. The White House's lack of clear answers has only intensified these concerns, Newsweek reported.

Journalists pointed out inconsistencies in the White House's statements, with O'Keefe noting, "We are miffed around here about how information's been shared with the press corps."

Reporters highlighted that they had previously asked Jean-Pierre whether the president had received any medical exams since his full February physical. She had answered, "We were able to talk to his doctor about that and that is a no." However, officials later clarified that Biden had indeed been seen by his doctor after the debate.

"He did not have a medical exam," Jean-Pierre said on Monday, defending her earlier comments and adding, "And I stand by that. Matter of fact, the president still stands by that. He had a verbal check-in."

As the briefing continued, Jean-Pierre sought to restore order and asked for support from Kelly O'Donnell of CBS News, who is the president of the White House Correspondents Association.

"I am not going to devolve [sic] somebody's name and or confirm someone. I'm not going to do that," she said. "That is as privacy for that person. I'm not going to do that. It doesn't matter how hard you push me, it doesn't matter how angry you get with me."

Despite the heated atmosphere, she maintained, "We do our best to give you the information that we have at the time, that's what we do." 


Earlier in the day, President Biden had addressed concerns about his re-election campaign in a letter to congressional Democrats, stating he would not abandon his campaign. He also made a surprise call to MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' show to criticize party elites and invite any dissenters to challenge him at the convention.

"I'm getting so frustrated by the elites. Not talking about you guys by the way ... the elites in the party," he said. "They know so much more? If any of these guys don't think I should run ... run against me. Announce for president. Challenge me at the convention."

Karine Jean-Pierre excoriated on social media

Following the press briefing, social media users ridiculed Jean-Pierre for her handling of the situation.

"She is worse than peppermint patty. Let me be real clear...the president will circle back," one posted on X.

"Boohoo historic figure. Laughable," another wrote.

"KJP not gonna get her 'You answered all the questions!' gold star from Dr. Jill" someone else quipped.

"DEI hire goes straight to victim mode with any sense of accountability coming," read a comment.

"What a loser," another added.










Despite the contentious briefing, President Biden plans to hold a press conference on Thursday to demonstrate his capability to handle the demands and scrutiny of the presidency. The administration hopes this will quell some of the concerns and reaffirm Biden's fitness for office.

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