In what is most likely a precaution leading up to his potential 2024 presidential candidacy announcement, President Joe Biden will undergo a physical exam closely observed by doctors. His last physical came in November of 2021, where his doctor claimed he was a “healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male”. Those results obviously came under scrutiny at the time, given Biden’s multiple televised mental and physical slip-ups. According to Yahoo, three-quarters of Americans say Biden is currently too old to hold a government office, let alone run for a second presidential term. If he is successfully reelected in 2024, Biden would be 86 years old by the time he is done serving a second term.
By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; February 16, 2023
BETHESDA, Md. (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden, 80, headed into a closely watched physical examination on Thursday morning ahead of an expected announcement that he is seeking a second four-year term.
Biden’s session with doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, was his second extensive exam since taking office in January 2021. Biden entered the hospital for an exam expected to last about three hours.
The White House was expected to release details of the exam’s findings later on Thursday.
His last physical and colonoscopy, in November 2021, showed the president to be a “healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male,” his doctors said at the time. He had a polyp removed from his colon and his contact lens prescription updated, their six-page memo said.
Biden, the oldest person ever to serve as U.S. president, has waved off questions about his age. With Biden expected to launch his re-election campaign in the near future, polls indicate that voters have concerns about his ability to serve four more years if he wins in 2024.
About three-quarters of Americans – including more than half of Democrats and the vast majority of Republicans – say Biden is too old to work in government, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Feb. 6-13. Most Democratic respondents said the president remains mentally sharp but about half of them said he cannot handle the physical toll of the presidency.
Biden would be 86 by the end of a prospective second term, making him 13 years older than the average life expectancy of an American male, according to 2020 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
At his last exam, Biden’s White House physician, Kevin O’Connor, declared him fit for duty and able to execute his responsibilities. O’Connor attributed Biden’s stiff gait to spinal arthritis and “peripheral neuropathy,” or some loss of sensation in the feet.
Biden’s doctors will probably do a neurological exam on Thursday, as is typical with people in his age group who are more vulnerable to falls, Borna Bonakdarpour, an associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told Reuters.
They are also likely to check Biden’s eyes and hearing and “anything else he may complain about,” Bonakdarpour said. Biden’s cognition seemed good during the recent State of the Union address, the doctor said. Biden said during a PBS interview last week that any Americans concerned about his age should “watch me” perform the duties of the presidency.
First lady Jill Biden, 71, last month had cancerous skin lesions removed.