Biden Falls at Air Force Graduation, White House Responds

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
June 1, 2023Politics

President Joe Biden fell on stage during the Air Force Academy graduation on Thursday, according to video footage, while a White House official stressed that the president is fine.

Biden appeared to fall to his knees, but he was quickly helped back to his feet by White House officials during the event in Colorado Springs. Biden, 80, appeared to point to a black sandbag on the stage, according to footage.

Biden did not appear hurt by the fall and continued to stand until the end of the ceremony, pool reporters say. “President Biden fell down on stage after handing out the last diploma to the Air Force cadets. He appeared to slip and fall going down on his knees. He was helped up by Air Force officials,” according to a pool report.

The White House responded to the video of Biden’s fall by saying that the president is “fine,” adding on Twitter: “There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands.”

Biden did not take questions as he boarded Air Force One after the ceremony, according to reports. But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that Biden was “totally fine” as she boarded the plane.

Former President Donald Trump responded to Biden’s fall while he was campaigning in Iowa on Thursday.

“I hope he’s not hurt. The whole thing is crazy … even if you have to tip-toe down the ramp,” the former president and leading GOP candidate told reporters, referring to his own experience at the U.S. Military Academy in 2020. “At the Air Force Academy? That’s not inspiring,” Trump added.

Biden is currently the oldest person to serve as president in U.S. history. If he is reelected, Biden will be 86 years old upon leaving office in 2029.

Since Biden was elected, there have been questions about his age and whether he’s fit to serve as commander-in-chief. He was again asked about his age during an April interview with ABC News and responded by saying that it would “be up to the voters.”

“I respect them taking a hard look at it. I’d take a hard look at it, as well. I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good. I feel excited about the prospects,” he told ABC at the time, coming after he launched his reelection bid.

Biden’s medical staff has said he is fit enough to be president. “President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” the White House physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a memo released earlier this year.

Biden’s fall Thursday around two years after he fell while boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. At the time, that incident drew speculation and questions about the president’s health, with some likening it to former President Gerald Ford’s then-highly publicized fall down the Air Force One steps in 1975 during a trip to Austria.

Republicans have said that the president’s stumbles are evidence that he is not fit for office, while a former White House doctor-turned-lawmaker, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), has said Biden should take a mental competency exam. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has made similar comments, saying politicians older than age 75 should have to take mandatory mental competency tests.

“The test I’m proposing for Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein, President Biden and others is not complicated or difficult. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test is a widely used tool for detecting cognitive decline,” Haley wrote for Fox News, adding that “they should both take the test.”

Survey Results

A recent Washington Post-ABC News survey found that 33 percent of American adults believe Biden is in good enough physical shape to serve as president. The poll, released last month, found that 63 percent of American adults do not believe Biden possesses the “mental sharpness” to do his duties, a 9-percent increase year-over-year, while 5 percent don’t have an opinion.

A theoretical 2024 general election matchup also shows that Biden is falling behind Trump, with 44 percent of respondents saying in the poll that they would “probably” or “definitely” vote for Trump. Only 38 percent said the same thing for Biden. Another 64 percent said in the poll that Trump, 76, is fit enough to serve.

The president also trails Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who declared his 2024 candidacy late last month. About 42 percent revealed they would definitely or probably vote for the governor, while 37 percent said they would vote for Biden, and another 21 percent said they were undecided.

When the poll numbers were released last month, ABC anchor and former Clinton White House official George Stephanopoulos said that those poll numbers were “just brutal for President Biden.”

In mid-April, Biden announced in a video that he and Vice President Kamala Harris would seek reelection for the 2024 race. He faces at least two major Democrat challengers in environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and self-help author Marianne Williamson.

From The Epoch Times