Rep. Jackson Baselessly Accuses Biden of Using Stimulants, Vows to Demand Drug Test Before Debate

Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as Donald Trump’s White House physician, recklessly speculated that President Joe Biden is using drugs to stay ‘alert’ and to help him ‘perform’ in the upcoming presidential debate.

“I’m going to be demanding on behalf of many millions of concerned Americans right now that [Biden] submit to a drug test before and after this debate specifically looking for performance-enhancing drugs,” Jackson said.

The Texas Republican congressman appeared on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures where he — without evidence — accused Biden of being on a mixture of stimulants and other medications to address what Jackson claimed is a “cognitive disorder.” This is a common claim among the right and an attempt to discredit the president. It’s a particularly rich accusation coming from those who support Trump considering within the last year, Trump has said that Barack Obama is the current president and just last weekend forgot Jackson’s name, referring to him as “Ronny Johnson.”

Host Maria Bartiromo opened the interview with a clip of President Joe Biden appearing to stutter when attempting to say the name of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Mere seconds later in the clip, Biden said Mayorkas’ name. To Bartiromo, this is an example of the president “appearing to forget” a name, but it could be a manifestation of the president’s stutter. Stuttering is unrelated to a person’s intellectual abilities, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

“That was president Biden on Tuesday appearing to forget the name of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas,” Bartiromo said, “the latest misstep raising concerns among voters over the president’s age and mental capacity.”

Jackson told Bartiromo he has sent multiple letters to the White House demanding a drug test on the president, and he intends to send another one asking for drug tests on Biden before and after the debate. He did not mention whether he has requested that Trump submit to similar drug screenings. He went on to speculate that Biden was “on something” during the state of the union earlier this year.

“There was a Joe Biden that came out that was not similar at all to what we
see on a day-to-day basis for the last three-and-a-half years. And there’s surely no way to explain that other than he was on something. They’d given him medication,” Jackson claimed. He then theorized that Biden will be spending the next week at Camp David adjusting the doses of these alleged medications that, again, Jackson has zero proof that the president is taking.

“He’s going to be there at Camp David for a full week before the debate, part of that is probably experimenting with getting the doses just right,” Jackson alleged. “They have to treat his cognition, give him something to help him think straighter, to wake him up for his alertness and then, you know, he’s been agitated. We see that all the time. And that’s a common symptom or sign of this cognitive disorder that he seems to be suffering from.”

“What do you think President Biden’s issues are? What drugs I would they give him?” Bartiromo asked.

Jackson named a laundry list of medications, including ones that treat Alzheimers and Parkinson’s as well as stimulants like Addreall and Provigil, a powerful stimulant that was used by military pilots to keep them awake and alert on long missions. “I feel like they’re probably giving him a little bit of all of this, they just have to get it just right,” Jackson said.

These accusations would be laughable if they weren’t so dangerous, particularly because a Defense Department inspector general report released in January of this year detailed how Trump’s White House Medical Unit gave out controlled substances with minimal oversight and even worse record keeping. The investigation uncovered that the unit had ordered many thousands of doses of modafinil, also known as Provigil.

Rolling Stone reported in March that Trump’s White House was “awash in speed” and Xanax. Trump staff told Rolling Stone that the former president’s White House Medical Unit was “like the Wild West” with easy access to stimulants and sedatives for employees.

Trump nominated Jackson, who was then his White House physician, to become his Secretary of Veterans Affairs in 2018. Jackson withdrew his nomination after allegations came to light accusing him of writing illegal prescriptions, having outbursts of rage and drinking on the job. This past March, The Washington Post reported that Jackson was demoted by the military in 2022 from U.S. Navy Rear Admiral to Captain following allegations of alcohol abuse while working, anger issues and sexual harassment. But Jackson continues to publicly claim his Rear Admiral rank on his congressional website.

More from Rolling Stone

Best of Rolling Stone