“Vice President Biden is a health, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency,” O’Connor concluded.
The public information upon which that conclusion was based is far from comprehensive from a journalistic perspective, Altman said—even though the three-page disclosure could potentially contain just as much useful information as the 49-page release in 2008.
“It’s perfectly conceivable to me that the three pages that he released… contain the information that you’d want that would have been in the 49 pages,” Altman said. “You’re just summarizing information at a later date.”
The main point of contention, Altman said, is “an area of medical controversy”: whether medical doctors should treat a president the same as any other patient, or as, well, the president.
“There is certainly a school of thought that somebody of the age of Biden, and that means, Trump as well, should undergo neurological tests, just because of their age and the high incidence of dementia that occurs in the late seventies and eighties, and therefore the public should be entitled to that information,” Altman said. “But the White House doctors I dealt with felt that they should not treat the president medically in any different manner than they would treat the patient if the president were a private citizen.”