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GOP Senator Bill Cassidy Suggests Test For Senile Leaders

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Axios reports that Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is pushing for “cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.” Cassidy, a doctor by trade, notes that the leaders of American politics are getting older and older and, with age, everybody’s mental acuity starts to slip. He also says that loss of cognitive function is not always noticeable, which makes regular testing all the more important. Cassidy also says that he’s aware that there have been senile Senators in the past. And, while he says he’s not talking about anyone in particular, there are and have been several recent, high-profile leaders in their late 70s and 80s who may not pass the test. 

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Cassidy, a gastroenterologist, told me during our wide-ranging interview in Chalmette, La., that in your 80s, you begin a "rapid decline."

  • Noting he wasn't talking about specific people, Cassidy said: "It's usually noticeable. So anybody in a position of responsibility who may potentially be on that slope, that is of concern. And I'm saying this as a doctor."
  • "I'm told that there have been senators in the past who, at the end of their Senate terms were senile," Cassidy added. "I'm told that was true of senators of both parties."

Cassidy said it'd be reasonable for Supreme Court justices, members of Congress, and executive branch leaders to submit to an annual evaluation in which they would have to establish cognitive sharpness.

  • "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."
  • Asked if he'd favor such a test for those leaders, Cassidy said: "Of course."

Originally posted on Axios.

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