A prominent Republican Senator is worried about the growing numbers of top elected government leaders who are in their 80s, and their ability to make sound decisions even as in some cases symptoms of senility, dementia, and even possible Alzheimer's being to appear.
"I'm told that there have been senators in the past who, at the end of their Senate terms were senile," Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who has also long practiced as a physician, told Axios in a wide-ranging interview. "I'm told that was true of senators of both parties." He also made referenced this as especially a concern for lifetime appointed Supreme Court Justices.
Sen. Cassidy said that it was his experience as a doctor, noticing that "at some point, and statistically it's in the 80s, you begin a more rapid decline."
He noted in the remarks that "it's usually noticeable. So, anyone who is in a position of responsibility, who may potentially be on that slope, that is a concern, and I'm saying this as a doctor."
However, he stopped short of actually singling out any government leader or lawmaker that he suspects may be suffering such symptoms into old age - this after since the 2020 campaign Biden's own mental acuity became a cause for concern, and as more recently reports out of the White House have indicated his own staff has to 'protect' him from off the cuff interaction with reporters, for fears he'll say something embarrassing or off-script. As a "never Trump" Republican Senator, Cassidy himself is pointing to such testing being necessary if Trump were to hold office again.
During the discussion, Cassidy was asked about whether this means he would advocate for some kind of medical-based removal from office, to which he replied:
Now, you're going to argue, well, they were elected, so, who cares? But, would it be reasonable to have for Supreme Court justices, members of Congress in a leadership position and in the executive branch an annual sort-of evaluation in which they would have to establish, 'Yes. I'm doing OK.'"
That's when he proposed the idea of an annual 'cognitive physical' to establish that ageing lawmakers are still sharp and in healthy mental shape.
He said a test might be necessary particularly in cases where it's "noticeable" or for anyone "in a position of responsibility who may potentially be on that slope."
During the HBO Axios interview, Cassidy dunked on Trump as he had done previously...
"Cassidy says Donald Trump might lose the GOP nomination if he runs in 2024 — noting that Trump lost "the House, the Senate and the presidency in four years. Elections are about winning."
"We each have a sacred responsibility to the people of the United States," Cassidy said. "It is not about me. It is about my ability to serve the people," Cassidy added.