In Apparent Reversal, Biden Says He Hasn’t Taken Cognitive Test

August 5, 2020 Updated: August 5, 2020

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in a new interview that he hasn’t taken a cognitive test, an apparent reversal from remarks he made earlier this year.

“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?” Biden said during a virtual interview.

Come on, man. That’s like saying to you, ‘Before you got on this program, did you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not?’ What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden asked Errol Barnett, a CBS reporter.

The 77-year-old continued, accusing the reporter of trying to goad him.

“Look, come on man. I know you’re trying to goad me, but I mean, I’m so forward-looking to have an opportunity to sit with the president, or stand with the president, in debates. There’ll be plenty of time.”

“I am very willing to let the American public judge my physical and mental fill—my physical, as well as my mental fill—fitness,” he said.

During a rare press conference in June, Biden suggested he had taken a cognitive test.

A reporter said that he is 65 and has seen his own ability to recollect words diminish over time.

“I forget my train of thought from time to time,” the reporter said. “You’ve got 12 years on me, sir. Have you been tested for some degree of cognitive decline?”

“I’ve been tested and I’ve been constantly tested,” Biden responded.

“Look, all you got to do is watch me, and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against. Thank you so much.”

Questions about the cognitive abilities of both Biden and President Donald Trump, 74, have swirled for years, with little concrete evidence to support them.

President Donald Trump speaks to the press before departing from the White House on July 27, 2020. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump said in July that he took a cognitive test and got a perfect score.

Biden, he asserted, “could not answer those questions.”

“Let’s take a test right now. Let’s go down, Joe and I will take a test. Let him take the same test that I took,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace.

According to then-White House physician Ronny Jackson, Trump received a 30 out of 30 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment in 2018.

The test was created by Dr. Ziad Nasreddine, who said one five-word question in the test “is challenging.”

“Only 10 percent of normal individuals get 30 out of 30,” he said during a recent appearance on CNN. “It could be somewhat hard for somebody who is normal, especially certain questions are harder than others, especially the five-word recall. Most patients do not get the five words.”

In a press release in 2018, Nasreddine said Trump’s cognitive performance ruled out mild Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Biden’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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