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Biden, White House Challenge Doubters Amid Mental Fitness Questions 

US President Biden has confronted doubts about his mental fitness, urging Democrats to either challenge him or unite behind him.

The White House has responded firmly to questions about President Joe Biden’s mental fitness, with the US president daring doubters within his party to either challenge him or unite behind his candidacy.

Also, in a rare move, the 81-year-old president called into a cable news show, declaring, “I am not going anywhere.”

During a tense news conference, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed suggestions of an undisclosed illness, specifically denying any treatment for Parkinson’s disease. These assertions came after a poor debate performance against Donald Trump on 27 June intensified scrutiny of Biden’s mental acuity.

Jean-Pierre clarified that an expert on Parkinson’s disease had visited the White House multiple times since last year but reiterated that Biden had not been treated for the condition. This was corroborated by a letter from Dr Kevin O’Connor, the Physician to the President, confirming that Biden’s last physical showed no signs of neurological disorders.

Despite the media frenzy, Biden called into MSNBC’s *Morning Joe*, challenging critics to “challenge me at the convention” next month or rally behind him against Trump. Biden also sent an open letter to congressional Democrats, emphasising his confidence in defeating the Republican challenger in the November election.

Biden’s open letter highlighted the clear support he has received from Democratic voters in the primaries, questioning the integrity of ignoring their voices. He stressed, “How can we stand for democracy in our nation if we ignore it in our own party? I cannot do that. I will not do that.”

Several Democratic figures, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and Frank Pallone, have rallied behind Biden, affirming their support and dismissing calls for him to drop out. However, some congressional Democrats, like Adam Smith, have urged Biden to step aside, citing his debate performance as a significant concern.

Amid this controversy, thoughts have turned to potential replacements, with some party members rallying around Vice-President Kamala Harris. Trump has suggested that Harris would be a “better” candidate than Biden but still “pathetic.”

Biden has acknowledged his poor debate performance but remains resolute in his campaign, stating that only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to end his bid for the White House.

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