President Joe Biden has once again become a center point of discussion after claiming at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania that there are “54 states” in the United States despite the fact that there are only 50.
Biden made the bizarre verbal miscue while speaking at a rally Friday evening in Philadelphia to support his fellow Democrat, U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman.
While describing how Democrats have worked on improving healthcare by defending the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) from being replaced, Biden told people at the event that Democrats campaigned in “54 states” to prevent the federal statute from being dismantled.
“And, of course, they’re going to try for the 499th time, or whatever the number is,” Biden said in reference to Republicans’ long crusade to repeal the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.
“And, by the way, if they do, that means—not a joke, everybody; that’s why we defeated it in 2018 when they tried to do it. We went to 54 states,” the president said. “The reason is people didn’t realize that the only reason anybody who has a pre-existing condition can get healthcare is because of that Affordable Care Act.”
At the event, Biden was joined by both Vice President Kamala Harris and Fetterman, whose rocky debate performance against Republican rival Dr. Mehmet Oz last week has fueled concern among Democrats as the two vie for a key Senate seat.
Fetterman in May suffered a severe stroke, which was apparent during the debate as he stumbled over words and relied on closed-captioning posted above the moderator to help him visually process the words being spoken to him, leading to occasional awkward pauses.
After clips of Biden’s latest gaffe emerged online, social media influencers blasted the president.
“Joe Biden now says there are 54 states,” Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert said on Twitter. “I guess if you count the states of denial, confusion, delusion and disaster that his Regime has caused he just might be on to something.”
Actor and comedian Rob Schneider also took a swipe: “Biden says there are 54 states in America. Next speech he will explain the 81 million votes…”
“Inflation is so bad it’s impacting geography under [Joe Biden],” journalist Collin Pruett said on Twitter.
Since Biden took office, videos showing the 79-year-old president making verbal miscues or other gaffes have become commonplace, raising concerns about his age and cognitive ability. In another recent mishap, he incorrectly called out to Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who had died in a car crash weeks before.
Despite those concerns, Biden said in an interview on Oct. 21 that it is his “intention” to run for reelection in 2024, though he noted that no formal decision has been made on the matter.
Biden recently agreed that questions about his age are “totally legitimate” ahead of the 2024 election, saying that he’s “in good health” and “everything physically about me is still functioning well, and mentally, too.”
In just a few weeks, Biden—already the oldest sitting president—will turn 80 years old. If Biden were to win reelection in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.