Biden Names His Personal Doctor, Kevin O’Connor, to Be White House Physician

WASHINGTON — President Biden has chosen his longtime doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, to function his physician within the White House, an official stated on Monday.

Dr. O’Connor, a retired Army colonel, succeeds Dr. Sean P. Conley in a task that drew uncommon scrutiny throughout President Donald J. Trump’s administration amid accusations that he and his predecessor had exaggerated Mr. Trump’s well being.

At 78, Mr. Biden is the oldest president in United States historical past. His choice of Dr. O’Connor brings aboard a physician with whom he has a longstanding personal relationship.

Dr. O’Connor was the doctor to Mr. Biden when he was vice chairman and continued to function his doctor after he left office. “He’s never asked me if I am a Republican or a Democrat,” Dr. O’Connor once said of Mr. Biden.

An osteopathic doctor, Dr. O’Connor started serving as a physician on the White House in 2006, when President George W. Bush was in office.

In December 2019, Mr. Biden’s marketing campaign launched a three-page memo from Dr. O’Connor through which he described Mr. Biden as “healthy” and “vigorous,” including that he was “fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency, to include those as chief executive, head of state and commander in chief.”

Three a long time earlier, Mr. Biden, then a senator from Delaware, had a life-threatening well being scare. In 1988, simply months after ending his first presidential bid, he had emergency surgical procedure for a brain aneurysm. He had one other operation months later for a second brain aneurysm and returned to the Senate that year after a prolonged absence. Dr. O’Connor wrote in his 2019 memo that Mr. Biden “has never had any recurrences of any aneurysms.”

More lately, after Mr. Biden’s election in November, Dr. O’Connor offered details about Mr. Biden’s situation after he slipped whereas enjoying with one in every of his canine and fractured his foot.

Dr. O’Connor’s hiring was reported earlier on Monday by ABC News. His predecessor, Dr. Conley, was thrust within the highlight after Mr. Trump introduced in early October that he had examined optimistic for the coronavirus and was subsequently hospitalized. But Dr. Conley shortly drew criticism for making deceptive feedback about Mr. Trump’s situation; one infectious illness professional described him as “a spin doctor, not a medical doctor,” and Dr. Conley admitted that he had sought to “reflect the upbeat attitude” of Mr. Trump.

Dr. Conley is being reassigned within the Navy, in accordance to the official who confirmed Dr. O’Connor’s hiring.

Dr. Conley succeeded Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, who had spoken in glowing phrases about Mr. Trump’s well being. He declared in 2018 that the previous president had “incredible genes” and stated, “I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”

Later that year, Mr. Trump nominated Dr. Jackson to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Jackson withdrew from consideration after accusations of inappropriate workplace conduct, and Mr. Trump later named him as his chief medical adviser.

Dr. Jackson is now serving in Washington in a special capability: as a member of Congress. In November, he was elected to the House as a Republican from Texas.

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