On a fateful Thursday, President Joe Biden made a triumphant return to the White House following an unexpected incident during the Air Force Academy’s commencement ceremony.
After an unfortunate stumble, President Biden playfully quipped to the gathered reporters, “I was caught off guard,” as the White House insisted he was unharmed.
As twilight descended, the 80-year-old leader inadvertently bumped his head on the doorframe while disembarking from the jet.
The political fallout from these blunders could potentially tarnish Biden’s chances for re-election, particularly considering the widespread concerns surrounding his age and well-being.
Should Biden secure victory in the 2024 elections, he would complete his second term at the remarkable age of 86.
While distributing diplomas in Colorado, Biden stumbled and fell to the floor, prompting cadets and Secret Service agents to swiftly rush to his aid.
However, he chose to leave the stage unassisted, almost hinting at a lighthearted sandbagging incident.
The White House denied any harm had come to the president, attributing the incident to a visible black sandbag near the podium.
Ben LaBolt, the White House Spokesman, promptly reassured the public of Biden’s well-being through a tweet. Curiously, a sandbag materialized on the stage while he greeted the crowd.
Since assuming office in January 2021, Biden has experienced four public falls, with this most recent episode being the fourth in line.
Just a few weeks ago, during a visit to the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Japan, Biden stumbled over his own feet but managed to regain his balance while descending a staircase with the aid of a handrail.
Both in 2021, while boarding Air Force One, and in June of this year, while cycling near his Delaware coast residence, Biden suffered falls but fortunately avoided any serious injuries.
A pool reporter who accompanied the president during his Colorado trip recounted that Biden stumbled upon returning to his seat, possibly due to an ill-fated encounter with a black sandbag.
The victim himself attributed his fall to a black sandbag.
Three years ago, during his commencement address at West Point, then-President Donald Trump faced difficulties while descending a ramp, raising questions about his physical agility.
Notably, Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, was absent on Thursday, attending a royal wedding in Jordan, and missed their customary hand-in-hand stroll back to the White House from Wilmington earlier in the week.
These incidents occur in the midst of a campaign where Biden’s age has become a prominent factor. If re-elected for a second term, Biden would be 82 years old during his inauguration.
Former President Donald Trump, Biden’s primary opponent at the age of 76, has repeatedly cast doubts on Biden’s mental acuity.
Upon hearing about Thursday’s incident involving Biden, Trump responded, “Well, I hope he wasn’t hurt,” before expressing his desire to learn more about the situation.
Trump went on to remark, “The whole thing is – look. Everything about this is insane. We need to be cautious. You don’t want something like this to happen. Even if it means taking careful steps, do it.” His comment may allude to a similar incident he encountered at West Point.
This setback arrives mere hours after Biden celebrated a legislative triumph with the House’s approval of an agreement he negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to prevent a default.
It also emerges at the start of a presidential campaign, prompting questions about why Biden has not been conducting formal campaign rallies or embarking on extensive travel across the country.
The White House doctor has given Biden a clean bill of health, though noting a slight stiffness in his gait.
After Biden’s annual checkup in 2016, Dr. Kevin O’Connor observed that the president’s “gait remains stiff but has not worsened since last year,” attributing much of the stiffness to degenerative osteoarthritic alterations in his spine.
Recent footage shows Biden walking at a slower pace to and from the White House compared to 2021.
Nonetheless, he continues to travel frequently by air, as evidenced by his visits to Camp David and Wilmington over the Memorial Day weekend before returning to Washington, D.C.
Biden’s slip occurred as he concluded his speech at one of the service academies, maintaining a longstanding tradition for presidents.
During his address, he highlighted the successes of the Air Force and Space Force in supporting Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, and he pardoned minor infractions committed by the cadets, following customary practice.
Expressing his faith in academy graduates, Biden declared, “I trust in the capabilities of those who graduate from here.”
He also discussed cutting-edge weaponry like the B-21 Raider, which young cadets would be responsible for operating in the future, playfully mentioning that they would be piloting the aircraft.