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Dr. Phil to Biden: Take cognitive test, show you have ‘nothing to hide’

By Jake Beardslee · March 3, 2024

In brief…

  • Dr. Phil said Biden should take cognitive test to demonstrate transparency
  • Maher said Biden should embrace perceptions about his age
  • White House defended lack of cognitive exam in physical
  • Biden described as healthy and robust in exam results
Dr. Phil McGraw suggested on Bill Maher's show that President Biden should undergo a cognitive test, citing transparency for leaders, while Maher said Biden should not deny but "lean into" perceptions about his age.  The White House/Wikimedia

On comedian Bill Maher’s HBO show last Friday, Dr. Phil McGraw stated that President Biden should take a cognitive test, saying “People that have nothing to hide, hide nothing.” Maher had asked McGraw if Biden should take such an exam.

McGraw responded, “Why not?,” arguing that undergoing the test would demonstrate transparency and accountability from the president. His comments come amid occasional criticism of Biden’s verbal gaffes.

Maher also recommended that Biden “lean into” perceptions about his advanced age rather than deny them. He jokingly advised Biden, “Don’t try to deny the age thing, lean into it. Lean in, lean in like you’re eating soup.” Maher suggested Biden follow the example of John McCain, who openly acknowledged his age during his 2008 campaign.

At Wednesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended the lack of a cognitive exam in Biden’s recent physical exam, saying the president “passes a cognitive test every day” through his job duties. She also stated, “If you look at what a clinical cognitive test is – actually what it does – it is a 15-minute appointment that is administered by someone who, most of the time, people don’t actually know.”

Biden’s physical exam results, released later Wednesday, described the 81-year-old as “healthy” and “robust.”