President Joe Biden fell on stage at the US Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony on Thursday and is “fine,” a White House aide said.
After Biden shook hands with more than 900 graduates, the president turned, walked back to his seat, and began signing like he was jogging. Then he seemed to stumble and fell onto the stage.
Biden, 80, was helped by two US Secret Service agents and an Air Force official, then turned and pointed to something on stage he may have stumbled upon.
White House communications director Ben LaBolt tweeted a reporter who had posted about the incident and said Biden was fine.
After returning to his seat, Biden continued to chat with the graduates and take photos and selfies. When he left the event, he started jogging several times.
He later boarded Air Force One to fly back to Washington. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “He’s perfectly fine,” noting that Biden boarded the plane smiling.
Last year, Biden fell off his bike during a weekend trip to his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
When Biden was re-elected, the question arose as to whether he was fit for another four-year term. A recently Washington Post and ABC News poll found that 33% of US adults believe Biden is physically fit enough to effectively serve as President, while 64% said the same about former President Donald Trump, who is 76 years old and also for one second term in the White House.
However, the president’s doctor said in February that Biden remains “fit” to carry out his duties as president.
“President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old man capable of successfully discharging the duties of the President,” said White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor, in a statement five page memo.
O’Connor said his assessment was based on a “comprehensive review” of Biden’s medical history and a detailed physical exam, which included specialist consultations at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.