According to White House representatives, President Joe Biden is “fine” after slipping and falling over at a Colorado event.
While distributing diplomas during the US Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony, he tripped on a sandbag.
After falling on Thursday, Mr. Biden, the 80-year-old president who is now in office, was assisted back to his feet and appeared unharmed.
“I got sandbagged!” the president joked to reporters as he arrived back at the White House that evening.
He had been waiting to shake hands with each of the 921 graduating cadets for approximately an hour and a half.
As he was being hoisted up by an Air Force official and two members of his Secret Service detail, Mr. Biden was shown on camera appearing to point at one of the two sandbags used to support his teleprompter.
When the event was over, he was seen sprinting back to his motorcade after independently returning to his seat.
“There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt wrote on Twitter. “He’s fine.”
Although a reporter pointed out that Mr. Biden did not answer questions prior to the flight, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated he had boarded the plane flashing “a big smile.”
Some have argued that Mr. Biden is too elderly to seek re-election as president.
According to recent polls, the majority of US citizens are worried about his senior age. If he wins, he would begin a second term at the age of 82.
These worries might be heightened by the fact that he previously fell while riding his bicycle and while ascending the Air Force One stairs.
The incident was addressed by former president Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner to take against Mr. Biden in the 2024 presidential election, who said “the whole thing is crazy” while attending a campaign event in Iowa.
“I hope he wasn’t hurt,” said Mr Trump, 76, who has often poked fun at Mr Biden’s age. “That’s not inspiring.”
“You got to be careful about that because you don’t – you don’t want that. Even if you have to tip toe down the ramp,” added Mr Trump, apparently referring to his own careful walk off a stage that made headlines in 2020.
He dismissed the subsequent media inquiries about his health as fake news at the time by claiming that the ramp at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York, was slick.
During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another Republican hopeful for the 2024 candidacy, also addressed the incident: “We hope and wish Joe Biden a fast recovery from any injuries he may have received.
“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.”
The most recent health exam for Mr. Biden was performed in February.
White House physician Dr Kevin O’Connor wrote at the time: “The President remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations.”
Dr. O’Connor continued by stating that Mr. Biden’s condition had not changed since his previous examination in November 2021, despite walking with a “stiffened gait” mostly brought on by nerve damage in his feet and wear and tear on his spine.
Mr. Biden is not the first head of state to stumble in front of the cameras.
President Gerald Ford stumbled down the stairs of Air Force One in 1975, while President Barack Obama tripped while climbing stairs at a 2012 ceremony.