White House officials report that Vice President Joe Biden is "fine" after tripping and collapsing at an event in Colorado.
He tripped over a sandbag while handing out credentials at the US Air Force Academy's commencement ceremony. After falling on Thursday, Mr. Biden was assisted to his feet and appeared unharmed.
The president joked to the media as he returned to the White House that evening, "I got sandbagged!" Approximately an hour and a half had passed as he shook palms with each of the 921 graduating cadets. Mr. Biden appears to indicate one of the two sandbags used to prop up his teleprompter while being assisted by an Air Force official and two members of his Secret Service detail.
When the ceremony concluded, he was observed walking back to his seat unassisted and then jogging back to his motorcade. The press secretary of the White House, Karine Jean-Pierre, stated that Mr. Biden boarded the aircraft with a "big smile," but one reporter observed that he did not take questions before the flight.
Critics assert that Mr. Biden is too old to seek a second presidential term. Recent surveys indicate that the majority of American voters are concerned about his age. If he wins, he will be 82 years old at the commencement of his second term. This fall, along with his previous stumbles from his bicycle and while ascending the stairs to Air Force One, may contribute to these concerns.
Former President Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate to face Vice President Joe Biden in the 2024 White House election, reacted to the incident from a campaign event in Iowa by stating, "the whole thing is crazy."
Mr. Trump, 76, who has often made fun of Mr. Biden's age, said that he hoped wasn't injured. He added that one must exercise caution and tiptoe down the staircase if needed, referencing his own careful walk off the stage in 2020 that made headlines. At the time, he claimed that the ramp at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, was slick and dismissed the subsequent media inquiries about his health as false news.
During a campaign event in New Hampshire, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a rival for the Republican nomination in 2024, reacted to Biden's fall: "We wish Joe Biden a speedy recovery from any injuries he may have sustained.
However, we also wish the United States a speedy recovery from the wounds it has sustained as a result of Joe Biden and his policies. In February, Mr. Biden underwent his most recent physical exam. Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the White House physician at the time, wrote that the President is fit for duty and fulfills all of his responsibilities without exception.
Mr. Biden is not the first chief executive to lose his composure in front of the cameras. In 1975, President Gerald Ford stumbled down the stairs of Air Force One, while President Barack Obama tripped while ascending stairs at an event in 2012.