An Epidemic of Cognitive Impairment?

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

Joe Biden, the nominal head of the Democratic Party, is 79. But he increasingly acts and sounds 89.

Recently, Biden has pivoted repeatedly on stage with his arm outstretched to shake the hand—of someone not there.

On one recent occasion Biden called out for Representative Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) who passed away in a car crash in early August. He was insistent, shouting to the crowd, “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? I think she wasn’t going to be here—to help make this a reality.”

Biden’s fantasy was the reality that Rep. Walorski is no longer with us.

Biden slurs his words. He truncates sentences. He speaks in a muddled voice that often makes comprehension impossible. When questioned, he grows irate, growls, and stutters.

Biden’s messaging is even more confused than his medium. On any given day, Biden may impetuously announce that U.S. soldiers will defend the soil of Taiwan, or that the “killer” Vladimir Putin, unhinged head of nuclear Russia, must be removed from office promptly.

If Biden doesn’t like a question, he may deride the reporter as a “stupid son of a bitch.” He habitually lies about everything from COVID-19 vaccinations being unavailable until his presidency to the nature of his son’s military service.

Biden confuses Iran with Ukraine. He calls a senior African American assistant “my boy.”

For much of the Trump presidency, leftist opponents sought to remove Trump by the 25th Amendment. A Yale psychiatrist diagnosed Trump in absentia and declared him deserving of a straitjacket forced intervention. Partisan charges grew so intense that Trump voluntarily took—and aced—the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

Strangely, the same Left arm-chair psychiatrists offer no such worries about Biden’s clear mental decline.

One reason Biden enjoys immunity from removal is that his 57-year-old vice president, Kamala Harris, is seen to be even more incoherent and ill-informed.

Harris cannot plead age as the cause of her mental confusion. Yet, the more the public sees and hears Harris’ mixed-up word salads, and bizarre cackling spells, the more it is convinced that she is either ignorant or intellectually lazy—or both.

Recently while at the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, she read from a prepared speech that the United States honors its “very important,” “strong,” and “enduring,” “alliance”—with the communist, genocidal “Republic of North Korea.”

For those other than the vice president, North Korea is the sworn enemy of the United States, and officially known as the “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

Millions of Floridians remain currently displaced by Hurricane Ian. In response, Harris recently reassured them that impending federal assistance would be predicated not on need or individual disasters, but on the basis of skin color.

Translated that would mean that millions of the homeless, white middle-class should wait in line for relief, given Harris’s promises to “fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.”

Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi is 82. At times she too seems trapped in her own world disconnected from reality. Pelosi apparently recently mixed up Taiwan with mainland Communist China, and thus exclaimed  “China is one of the freest societies in the world.”

She stood up and weirdly rubbed her clenched fists together when Joe Biden in his state of the union darkly mentioned the dangers of soldiers inhaling toxic fumes from burn pits.

Of course, after one of Trump’s SOTU addresses, Pelosi proceeded indignantly to tear up her copy of the speech on national television.

More recently, Pelosi defended open borders and the vast influxes of illegal aliens by crassly claiming “We need migrants to pick crops.”

Pelosi’s startling revelation of progressive condescension was reminiscent of NBC retweeting the liberal commentator who said of the movement of immigrants, “It’s like me taking my trash out and just driving to different areas where I live and just throwing my trash there.”

The Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania John Fetterman is running for senator in his home state. His handlers try to keep him from questioners. They duck debates. And they count on the media to edit videos of his increasingly rare and bizarre appearances.


Fetterman recently suffered a severe life-threatening stroke, the details and prognoses of which he has yet to fully disclose.

Like Biden, Fetterman is now severely cognitively impaired. He cannot finish a coherent sentence while campaigning.

Almost daily Fetterman suffers long bouts of incoherence. He even becomes confused over where exactly he and his crowd are: “Send us back to New Jersey and send me to DC.”

The Democratic Party’s top hierarchy is run by octogenarians and septuagenarians. In the case of Biden and Pelosi, their powerful positions and age-related cognitive disabilities startle both Americans and allies abroad.

Why is the supposed party of youth dominated by such frail and forgetful elderly?

Maybe because the alternative of the next generation of would-be leaders waiting in the wings—like a Kamala Harris or John Fetterman—is more frightening still.


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12 thoughts on “An Epidemic of Cognitive Impairment?”

  1. Age and a stroke may explain the cognitive decline of Biden and Fetterman respectively, and Harris was selected as the VP candidate by Biden as a precaution, her known incompetence providing some protection against removing Biden from office. But how do you explain Gavin Newsom and all those who vote for him? His latest assault on freedom, the outrageous rules prohibiting Doctors from expressing their opinions and diagnoses to patients if it varies from the official diktat, is nothing but a cover for official incompetence. A failure mode, incompetence, that is virtually system-wide within the borders of California. Electric cars, bullet trains, mandated experimental drugs forced on selected workers, forest fires, unreliable electric power (don’t you dare charge the electric vehicle,) vanishing irrigation resources, the list is both comprehensive and growing with each crisis, which are becoming a daily occurence.

    1. My father used to say: “Never ascribe to malice that which is actually incompetence”..
      A bit of a back-hander buried in there.

      HOWEVER, much of what we are seeing and to which many are obsessively ascribing as “incompetence”, is, on any sane evaluation, carefully calculated MALICE.

      Especially when it comes from multi-degreed types surrounded by platoons of “fact-checkers”, and usually on the public dime (plus inflation, fees, service charges, “spillage”‘, etc.)..

  2. Probably should not neglect the effect of chronic weed consumption on either Harris or Fetterman.
    How do I know? Give you one guess.

  3. I believe that Biden is using this hand gesture to guide himself off of the stage. He does it a lot. Yes it is still strange.

  4. We face an epidemic of people in the Covid era suffering various diseases involving inflammation in the brain. We do know that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is capable of passing the brain blood barrier. A reasonable question in folks having inflammation of the brain would be whether it traceable to natural Covid infection or the vaccines, which stimulate body cells to produce a modified spike protein similar to SARS-CoV-19. Paul Alexander has a substack article (Oct 3, summarizing the findings of a 76-year old man in Germany who died 3 weeks after his third Covid shot. The man had never been infected with Covid. An interesting finding is that the spike protein was found without the nucleocapsid protein which would be part of the virus that contains and carries the Covid spike protein. For me this is a strong indication that the Covid vaccines themselves are causing people to experience early degeneration with their brains. We know that Biden, Harris, Pelosi, have all been vaccinated. Yet despite otherwise having the best possible medical care available to them, they are steadily progressing in the direction of becoming nonfunctional with their cognitive impairment. Yet, in order to maintain the narrative, they must be preserved in their positions as if nothing is wrong, lest too many people become aware of the dangers of the Covid pharmaceutical interventions, ie, shots.

    1. Raymond, I like your analysis and the questions you raise. If the CDC and NIH were impartial observers, then they might have played a role in resolving such questions. But they have painted themselves into a corner, and the only way out is to walk on the paint, their mistakes, and admit that they are culpable. This can’t happen with the politicization of their “science” because it would drag down their politcal supporters.

      If the damage is progressive, then can we expect a more radical divergence from reality as time passes? Hoisted by their own petard!

  5. Must disagree that Biden sounds more like 89. He sounds disabled and it necessarily age related. I’m 91 and often forget names, especially of people I met recently, but generally have good cognitive ability.

  6. Victor,

    As I heard it, Fetterman said, “Send Oz back to New Jersey [ed: where he lives] and send me to DC”.


    “If Biden doesn’t like a question, he may deride the reporter as a “stupid son of a bitch.” He habitually lies about everything from COVID-19 vaccinations being unavailable until his presidency to the nature of his son’s military service.”

    That’s not impairment, that his true nature. He has always been a liar. Senility may reveal it more starkly, but Biden has always been a liar, and a nasty person.

    But enough Americans are now just overgrown adolescents, and will vote for someone whose platform makes them feel good about themselves for supporting it, or someone who promises them goodies from the public treasury.

    “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”

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