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Biden trips and falls on stage at Air Force graduation; White House says he’s ‘fine’

by Joshua Brown
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"President Joe Biden falls on stage at Air Force graduation"

Biden trips and falls on stage at Air Force graduation; White House says he’s ‘fine’

The Incident

On Thursday, President Joe Biden experienced a fall on stage during the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The White House assured the public that he was “fine” after tripping over a sandbag. Biden had been engaging with the graduates, exchanging salutes and handshakes, when he turned to jog back to his seat and fell. He was promptly assisted by an Air Force officer and two members of the Secret Service.

Reassurance from the White House

While onlookers, including members of the official delegation on stage, expressed concern, President Biden, who is the oldest president in U.S. history at age 80, returned to his seat to observe the remainder of the ceremony. White House communications director Ben LaBolt took to Twitter to alleviate any worries, stating, “He’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands.” Notably, two small black sandbags were supporting the teleprompter used by Biden and other speakers.

Biden’s Age and Fitness

Lingering Questions

President Biden has faced persistent questions regarding his age and physical fitness to serve. His occasional missteps have become ammunition for political opponents as he campaigns for a second term in 2024. Previous incidents include stumbling while ascending the stairs of Air Force One and getting entangled in his bike pedals while engaging with reporters near his Delaware home in Rehoboth Beach.

Doctor’s Assessment

Following President Biden’s most recent physical examination in February, his personal doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, affirmed that Biden, at the age of 80, is a “healthy, vigorous” individual fully capable of fulfilling his presidential duties. Dr. O’Connor also noted Biden’s stiffened gait, attributed to spinal arthritis, a previously broken foot, and neuropathy in his feet.

Past Incidents and Comparison

President Biden is not the first national political figure to encounter public stumbles.

Historical Precedents

In 1975, President Gerald Ford fell while disembarking Air Force One. GOP Senator Bob Dole, the Republican presidential nominee at the time, fell off the stage during a campaign rally in 1996. President Barack Obama tripped while ascending the stairs to a stage during a 2012 event and humorously attributed it to being “fired up” in front of the crowd.

Trump’s Remarks

Former President Donald Trump, who was campaigning in Iowa at the time of Biden’s fall, made a lighthearted reference to his own experience. When informed about the incident, Trump expressed hope that Biden was unharmed and cautioned about the importance of being careful. He recalled his own cautious descent down a slippery ramp during the 2020 West Point commencement, which raised concerns about his health.

In summary, President Joe Biden stumbled and fell on stage during the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation, but the White House reassured the public that he was unharmed. Despite ongoing questions about his age and fitness, his personal doctor has affirmed his ability to carry out presidential responsibilities. Similar incidents have occurred involving past political figures, underscoring that such mishaps are not uncommon. Former President Donald Trump referenced his own experience with a slippery ramp, highlighting the need for caution.

Q: What happened to President Joe Biden at the Air Force graduation?

A: President Joe Biden stumbled and fell on stage during the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation. He tripped over a sandbag but was quickly assisted and deemed to be “fine” by the White House.

Q: Did President Biden suffer any injuries from the fall?

A: The White House has assured the public that President Biden did not suffer any injuries from the fall. Despite the stumble, he was able to return to his seat and continue observing the ceremony.

Q: Why are there concerns about President Biden’s age and fitness?

A: President Biden’s age, as the oldest president in U.S. history at 80 years old, has led to questions about his fitness to serve. His occasional missteps, including stumbling on stairs and getting entangled in his bike pedals, have fueled speculation and become political fodder.

Q: What did President Biden’s personal doctor say about his health?

A: President Biden’s personal doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, conducted a physical examination in February and affirmed that Biden is a “healthy, vigorous” 80-year-old male who is fully capable of executing the duties of the presidency. Dr. O’Connor also mentioned specific conditions affecting Biden’s gait, such as spinal arthritis, a previously broken foot, and neuropathy in his feet.

Q: Have other political figures experienced similar incidents?

A: Yes, other political figures have experienced public stumbles. President Gerald Ford, GOP Senator Bob Dole, President Barack Obama, and former President Donald Trump have all encountered mishaps while walking, ascending stairs, or navigating stages during public events.

Q: What was former President Trump’s response to President Biden’s fall?

A: Former President Donald Trump, upon hearing about President Biden’s fall, expressed hopes that he was unharmed. Trump referenced his own experience descending a slippery ramp during the 2020 West Point commencement, which also sparked concerns about his health.

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