President Biden stumbled and lost his balance after giving a speech and presenting diplomas to graduates of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs on Thursday. The 80-year-old President was assisted and seemed to recover swiftly.
The incident of Mr. Biden’s fall was recorded on video and shared on social media. It shows him tripping, falling to his knees, and using his hands to stabilize himself on the stage floor. Several Air Force officials and Secret Service agents helped him up, and he made his way back to his seat.
Following his enthusiastic speech to the Air Force graduates and participating in the diploma ceremony, Mr. Biden fell while returning to his seat after handing out the last diploma.
On Thursday afternoon, Ben LaBolt, who serves as the White House communications director, conveyed a message via a tweet, “He’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands.”
It is not uncommon for presidents to experience embarrassing moments since they spend a significant portion of their time in front of cameras. During his presidency, President Gerald Ford faced frequent comedic jabs due to his tendency to trip on multiple occasions.
In 2020, a day before his 74th birthday, President Donald J. Trump appeared sluggish and unsteady while descending a ramp from the stage following the West Point commencement ceremony. This led to online speculation about his health.
For President Biden, who is already the oldest president in American history and is seeking a second term that would extend into his 80s, his stumble at the recent commencement ceremony is likely to raise further questions about his physical condition.
The president’s White House doctor has acknowledged that Mr. Biden’s walking has become noticeably more rigid with age, resulting in a slower and less steady gait. He has experienced stumbling incidents before, including one in February when he tripped and caught himself with his hands while boarding Air Force One upon his return from Warsaw.
Republicans have seized upon these stumbling incidents as evidence of President Biden’s unfitness for office, and some were quick to highlight his fall during the recent event.
“We hope and wish Joe Biden a swift recovery from any injuries he may have sustained, but we also wish the United States of America a swift recovery from the injuries it has sustained because of Joe Biden and his policies,” Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a presidential candidate, stated.
As President Biden flew back to Washington from Colorado on Air Force One, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, informed accompanying reporters that the president was in a completely fine condition.
Upon his arrival in Washington, President Biden seemed to be in a positive mood. He made a light-hearted remark to reporters outside the White House about accidentally hitting his head on the door frame of the presidential helicopter. He jokingly mentioned being “sandbagged,” playfully hopped once, and then proceeded inside.