“Healthy” and “strong”: According to his doctor, US President Joe Biden is fit to take office. The 80-year-old is capable of successfully fulfilling the duties of the President, his longtime doctor Kevin O’Connor wrote on Thursday. Biden had previously undergone a regular health check — the White House eventually released the five-page report.
Biden was the oldest president ever to move into the White House. His state of health is a constant source of debate in the United States.
In the United States, presidents are regularly required to disclose their health status. This is not legally required; but it has become a kind of ritual that no president can avoid. In the Walter Reed Military Hospital near the capital Washington, various examinations were due on Thursday. A “small lesion” on his chest was removed during skin cancer screening, it said. This is now being examined in the laboratory. A result was still pending. Examinations of Biden’s ears, eyes, or throat were normal. According to his doctor, after his Covid 19 illness in the summer, Biden no longer has any symptoms.
However, the 80-year-old has one or two ailments. This includes, for example, a “stiff gait” – Biden is therefore prescribed custom-made orthoses. According to the report, the 80-year-old is struggling with spinal arthritis, among other things. Biden also has gastroesophageal reflux disease. According to the doctor, the digestive disease means that Biden has to clear his throat and cough more often. The symptoms worsened after meals. Examinations of the lungs and airways, on the other hand, did not reveal any abnormalities.
Biden is also being treated for non-valvular atrial fibrillation. According to O’Connor, Biden has no symptoms. Biden also trains five times a week, is 1.83 meters tall and weighs almost 81 kilos. The doctor also noted that Biden does not smoke and does not drink alcohol. The examination did not reveal any findings that would indicate a stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. The report’s findings were broadly consistent with the results of the President’s last inquest in November 2021.
Reservations about second term
Biden has so far stated that he intends to run for a second term. The Democrat has not yet announced a final decision on this – the decision is eagerly awaited.
Given his advanced age, critics have expressed doubts about his fitness for office. Some Republicans and right-wing commentators even question his mental abilities. At the next presidential election in 2024, Biden would be 81 years old, at the start of a second term 82, and then 86 at the end.
According to a poll released this month, even among Democrats, more than half of those polled think Biden is too old to run for a second presidential nomination next year. Biden himself responds to interview questions about his age by referring to his political achievements and saying “Look at me”.
Haley demands mental competency tests
US Republican Nikki Haley had previously called for mandatory intellectual competency tests for politicians over the age of 75. The 51-year-old has just announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. Her proposal was also discussed at the daily press conference in the White House on Thursday.
When asked whether Biden would be willing to carry out such a test if the population demanded it, the US President’s spokeswoman responded tight-lipped. “I’m not going to go into hypotheses here,” she said. Biden’s doctor’s report did not say whether the president underwent any cognitive tests during the check-up.