I Took a Cognitive Test as a Judge and Passed. Biden and Trump Should Do the Same

This letter is in response to CNN medical commentator Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s call for the president to be appointedidentify joe biden to undergo a clear, modern and comprehensive cognitive test.

In response to Dr. Gupta’s appeal, I am expanding my response to include all presidential candidates. Not only do I believe that Dr. Gupta’s request is reasonable and responsible, but I also believe that a presidential candidate’s refusal cannot be justified by another candidate’s refusal to submit to a transparent, comprehensive cognitive test.

For the record, and with the understanding that my record as a public servant in no way compares to that of the presidency (I retired at age 81 from my position as a district judge in Davidson County, Tennessee—I am proud to be the longest-serving district judge in Tennessee history, at 44 years).

President Biden said in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that as America’s leader, he faces cognitive tests every day.

But whether it’s a judge or a president, we both take an oath of office, which means that we are cognitively capable of performing the office that we hold. The crux of this answer is that at age 78, three years before I retired, I underwent a six-hour emergency cancer surgery and voluntarily, of my own free will, submitted to a comprehensive cognitive test.

Joe Biden can save his legacy and this nation, stepping aside and passing the torch

Shortly after the surgery, I noticed that I had short-term memory loss. After about three months, I regained my lost memory, but I still wanted to make sure of my current cognitive abilities to assure myself and the public I serve that I could uphold my oath of office, that I was fit to serve.

So, on short notice, I took a four-hour, comprehensive cognitive test at Vanderbilt University Medical Center; the test was really a series of objective tests, testing things like memory, analytical ability, dexterity, math, and a wide range of other tests. It wasn’t easy, but I passed.

I understand that President Biden and former President Trump are alluding to having taken and passed cognitive tests, based on their own rumors, but in my opinion that is not enough. I think society, and indeed the world, needs to have confidence that a candidate for President of the United States is cognitively competent by requiring him or her to take a transparent, comprehensive cognitive test before the November election to assure the public that the candidate is competent to fulfill the presidential oath, just as I did as a sitting judge.

Judge Hamilton Gayden (retired), Nashville 37215

Do you agree or disagree? Or maybe you have a completely different view? Send a letter of 250 words or less to [email protected]. Please provide your full name, city/town, postal code, and contact information for verification purposes. Thanks for adding to the public discussion.

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Tennessean: Cognitive tests for Biden, Trump will show if they are capable of leading