OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Texas Republican Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as White House physician under Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, was wrongly held for a time by police during a rodeo in the Lone Star State.
Jackson, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, was attempting to provide medical assistance to a 15-year-old girl when he was “temporarily detained” by police officers, the UK’s Daily Mail reported.
On Monday, the Texas Tribune reported that Jackson was detained amid a “very loud and chaotic environment.” Jackson had been called over to provide medical assistance to the teen, the report added.
According to a statement from Jackson’s office, he had been sitting “in the stands during the entire rodeo, in full view of the assembled crowd, and was not drinking.” The statement said he was “summoned by someone in the crowd to assist a 15-year-old girl who was having a medical emergency nearby.”
When he got to the teen, a relative of hers who is a nurse was already providing assistance but she needed additional assistance, the statement said.
“While assessing the patient in a very loud and chaotic environment, confusion developed with law enforcement on the scene, and Dr. Jackson was briefly detained and was actually prevented from further assisting the patient,” the statement continued.
“He was immediately released as soon as law enforcement realized that he, as a medical professional, was tending to the young girl’s medical emergency,” the statement continued.
The Tribune added that Tam Terry, the local sheriff, said someone was “temporarily detained” while officers responded to a call at a concert Saturday night at the White Deer Rodeo. He didn’t identify the person by name, but he did say that the department is “reviewing the incident.” Until the review is complete, no names will be released, he added.
In 2018, Trump nominated Jackson to head up the Veterans Administration, but his nomination was derailed amid unsubstantiated claims that he overprescribed medications to members of the White House staff. Following the accusations, Trump withdrew the nomination a month later. In 2020, Jackson ran for a U.S. House seat in Texas and won; he was reelected last year.
Jackson has also become one of President Joe Biden’s biggest critics, frequently calling for him to get a cognitive test for the good of the country and the presidency. He did so again in June after Biden fell on stage after giving the commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. Afterward, Biden appeared to bang his head on the hatch of Marine One when he was exiting the helicopter.
“I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I’m just going to say it again: This man’s not fit mentally or physically to be our president,” Jackson said during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“It’s just a bad situation for us,” he continued. “Part of the job of the president of the United States is to inspire confidence and to project power. And he’s not doing that. He can’t do that. He’s too old to do that.”
“And I just, I think it’s a shame that his … lack of physical ability and his physical decline is now starting to highlight the cognitive decline that we’ve been watching for so long now,” Jackson noted further. “And it’s a package that just doesn’t sell well around the world. And it’s becoming a national security issue for us. We have to do something about it.”
Early in his first term, there were reports that some White House aides were “concerned” about then-President Donald Trump’s mental health, leading to mentions of using the 25th Amendment to remove him. Under that amendment, which was ratified in February 1967 in the years after John F. Kennedy’s assassination, a president can be removed from office if a majority of Cabinet members agree he or she is unable to perform their duties. A president can refute the issue, and if so, ultimately, Congress would decide the issue by a two-thirds majority in both chambers.
Those discussions did not go anywhere, obviously, but there haven’t been similar rumblings about Biden, though his physical and mental decline are outwardly more significant.