President Joe Biden stumbled multiple times then fell to his knees as he climbed the steps of Air Force One on Friday in the latest of a string of incidents which raise concerns over his health.
Biden, 78, was boarding the aircraft at Joint Base Andrews just before noon for a flight to Atlanta when he stumbled. He gripped on to the railing, steadied himself and kept going but lost his footing a second time and then a third.
On the third trip, he fell to his knees. He got back up then carried on up the stairs before giving a salute at the top then disappearing into the aircraft. Once on the plane, White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that he was ‘100 percent fine’ and was preparing for his trip in Atlanta.
Once he landed in Atlanta, President Biden remained on AF1 a short while until Vice President Kamala Harris – who had flown separately on AF2 – joined him on board. The White House said it was to discuss their agenda for the day.
She then disembarked with him, walking behind him as he slowly descended the stairs.
The fall does nothing to reduce concern for and speculation over Biden’s cognitive health which was has grown in recent months thanks to a series of mix-ups on his behalf.
A White House pool report was issued by the reporters traveling with Biden within seconds of the fall but it was not covered extensively by major news networks for around 30 minutes after it happened and it was missing from the websites of many major outlets.
Republicans including Donald Trump Jr. say the gentle media coverage of Biden’s fall is another example of the ‘mainstream media’ giving Biden the soft treatment after hammering President Trump for four years.
The fall is also the latest in a string of incidents which raise concern over the President’s health and comes a day after he referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘President Harris’.