Dr. Phil Calls For Biden To Receive Cognitive Test - ‘What Is There To Hide?’

By Victor Winston, updated on March 3, 2024

In today's political and social climate, our leaders' vitality and cognitive health have never ceased to be under the public's scrutinizing gaze.

On a recent episode of "Real Time," Dr. Phil McGraw and host Bill Maher delved into discussions about President Biden's age and cognitive functions, suggesting a voluntary cognitive exam might dispel any concerns.

Public Figures Discuss President's Cognitive Health

During his appearance on Bill Maher's show, Dr. Phil McGraw raised a topic of concern and speculation among many: the cognitive health of President Biden. Maher, never one to shy away from controversial topics, proposed that the President "lean into" his age as a strategy for dealing with public perception. The advisement comes amidst a broader debate on how leaders should present their age and capabilities to the public.

Bill Maher’s recommendations didn't stop at mere acceptance. He urged the president to adopt a stance of authenticity, pointing out the pitfalls of past Democratic candidates who, in his view, failed to embrace their true selves fully. Maher's critique extends beyond individual characteristics, touching on a broader disdain for what he perceives as political inauthenticity.

In a lighter vein, Maher expressed how maturity could be a unique leverage if approached with a sense of humor and candor.

Responses from the White House

The conversation around the President's cognitive abilities is not localized to television shows; it resonates throughout the halls of power. Following the airing of Maher's episode, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed inquiries regarding why a cognitive exam was not part of the President's recent physical assessment.

Jean-Pierre stood firm, suggesting President Biden's daily performance is testament enough to his cognitive competence.

A report on President Biden's physical well-being described him as a "healthy, robust, 81-year-old," seemingly aiming to quell any lingering doubts regarding his health. Yet, the absence of a cognitive test in his recent examination has fueled ongoing discussions and conjectures about the transparency and adequacy of such evaluations for high office holders.

Dr. Phil’s Broader Discussions on Society and Health

Dr. Phil McGraw and Bill Maher's cognitive health conversation was not McGraw's only recent foray into public dialogue. Earlier in the week, he appeared on "The View," where he discussed his latest book and voiced criticisms regarding the impact of COVID-19 school closures on children. This showcases how McGraw's concerns span a range of societal and health issues beyond the immediate concerns relating to the President's cognitive health.

In his dialogue with Maher, Dr. Phil McGraw encapsulated a sentiment that perhaps many share: "People that have nothing to hide, hide nothing." By suggesting a cognitive exam for the President, McGraw calls for a transparency that he believes would serve to dispel public concerns.

Maher added his distinct perspective by emphasizing the potential for President Biden to redefine the narrative around age and leadership through authentic and relatable acknowledgment of aging.

Reflecting Maher’s sentiment, one could argue that in embracing one’s age and natural limitations with humor and humility, a public figure may indeed find a unique path to relatability and trust amongst the electorate.


This dialogue between Dr. Phil McGraw and Bill Maher and the White House's stance has stirred an important conversation about age, cognitive health, and transparency in leadership. While Maher advocates for authenticity and humor as tools for public engagement, Jean-Pierre insists the President's daily undertakings are sufficient proof of his cognitive abilities.

This dynamic interplay of opinions and attitudes underscores the complex ways in which the public and those in power navigate discussions around the fitness and capability of leaders in our modern age.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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