Joe Biden will complete a routine medical checkup on Thursday, an important step for the oldest US president ahead of his expected fight for reelection in 2024.
The White House has promised to release the report by the 80-year-old president’s doctor, as he did during his last checkup in 2021.
This time, the Republican 2024 campaign has already begun to be scrutinized even more closely.
Despite poor poll ratings, Biden – a Democrat – has been suggesting for some time that he intends to run again, potentially setting up a rematch of a 2020 battle with his predecessor, Donald Trump, who has already has announced his candidature.
“That’s my intention, I think, but I haven’t firmly decided yet,” he said in a PBS interview on February 8.
Biden’s last checkup was on November 19, 2021, when he underwent a full exam including a colonoscopy under general anesthesia.
He transferred his powers to Vice President Kamala Harris for an hour and 25 minutes, making her the first woman in US history to hold the prerogative of the presidency.
Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, at the time painted a picture of a healthy man fit to carry out his presidential duties.
But he also pointed to relatively minor signs of old age, and noted Biden’s stiff gait, which he attributed to a mild nerve condition affecting the legs; As well as a persistent cough caused by gastroesophageal reflux.
Biden doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, plays sports, and has had no major health concerns since brain surgery in 1988.
He tested positive for Covid-19 last July but did not have a severe form of the disease.
The US President has shown unusual stamina while making public appearances and traveling.
But his age continues to be an angle of attack by the Republican opposition.
Some of the president’s opponents also claimed that he was no longer in his right mind, citing his moments of confusion and his slurred speech. Biden has often spoken of overcoming a childhood stammer.
Nikki Haley, a 51-year-old Republican who just entered the 2024 race, called Wednesday for mental fitness testing for any elected official over the age of 75.
This would also apply to former President Trump, 76, whom she is challenging with her candidacy.
Haley, a former ambassador to the United Nations, hopes to capitalize on the American electorate’s desire for new blood in politics. Polls show that as many people don’t want a second Biden term as they want a Trump presidency once again.
If he runs, Biden will face both the rigors of an election campaign and the demands of his office.
He wants Americans to judge him on his results, effectively saying that age is just a number.
“Look at me,” he likes to say.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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