Biden, 80, FALLS on stage while handing out diplomas at U.S. Air Force Academy graduation
President Biden has fallen on stage while handing out diplomas at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. The 80-year-old commander-in-chief stumbled and fell to his knees and then got back up during the graduation ceremony in an incident likely to spark more concerns about his age as the nation’s oldest president seeks a second term. He was assisted by Air Force officials when he fell to the ground. The president then walked away without help and appeared to point to a sandbag on the stage that he appeared to trip over.
It is just his latest stumble after he fell up the stairs while boarding Air Force One last year and toppled over on his bike near his Delaware beach house. He was not harmed in either incident. A pool reporter traveling with the president to Colorado said Biden ‘was walking back to his seat when fell. He appeared to have tripped on a black sandbag on the stage. ‘When he fell, pointed to the black sandbag suggesting that’s what he tripped on,’ according to the report. The stumble comes just weeks after Biden stumbled while visiting the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima, Japan. During that event, there was a railing available on some stairs the president had to navigate down. He ignored the railing and fell. It was three years ago when then-President Donald Trump appeared to struggle while walking down a ramp when delivering the commencement speech at West Point.
The fall comes in a race where Biden’s age has already become an issue. Biden would be 82 when he is sworn in if he wins a second term. His chief rival, 76, former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly questioned Biden’s mental capacity.
The fall comes just hours after Biden scored a legislative achievement, with the House voting to pass a deal he negotiated with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to avoid a potential default. It also comes at the start of a presidential campaign where the White House is already fielding questions about why Biden has not been on the road more or held any formal campaigning rallies.
The White House physician has pronounced Biden fit to serve, but has also noted stiffening in his gait. The president in recent months has been walking more slowly when going to and from the White House. He still flies regularly as he did over Memorial Day weekend, when he flew to Camp David, returned to the White House, then flew to Wilmington and returned to D.C.
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