Joe Biden trips and falls on stage during Air Force graduation ceremony – Times of India

Joe Biden trips and falls on stage during Air Force graduation ceremony – Times of India

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden took a face-first tumble and fell on stage during the graduation ceremony at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado on Thursday. However, the White House reassured the public that he was unharmed after tripping over a sandbag.
As Biden greeted the graduates in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he saluted and shook hands with them. While returning to his seat, he turned to jog and lost his balance, resulting in a fall. An Air Force officer and two members of the US Secret Service promptly helped him up.
Concerned onlookers, including members of the official delegation on stage, watched the incident unfold. Despite the fall, Biden, who, at 80 years old, is the oldest president in US history, quickly recovered and resumed his seat to witness the rest of the ceremony.
White House communications director Ben LaBolt took to Twitter to assure everyone that the president was fine. He explained that the mishap occurred because there was a sandbag on stage while Biden was shaking hands. Two small black sandbags were in place to support the teleprompter used by Biden and other speakers.
After returning to the White House, Biden joked to reporters, “I got sandbagged.”
Biden’s age and physical fitness have been subjects of ongoing discussions, and his occasional missteps have provided ammunition for his political rivals as he campaigns for a second term in 2024. Prior incidents include stumbling while ascending the stairs of Air Force One and getting entangled in his bike pedals while stopping to speak to reporters near his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Following the president’s most recent physical exam in February, his personal doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, stated that Biden is a healthy and robust 80-year-old male who is fully capable of carrying out his presidential duties. Dr. O’Connor also noted Biden’s stiffened gait, which is a result of spinal arthritis, a previously broken foot, and neuropathy in his feet.
When asked about Biden’s fall during an Iowa rally, former US President Donald Trump said, “He actually fell down? Well I hope he wasn’t hurt.”
Trump, Biden’s leading Republican opponent, added, “You gotta be careful about that,” even if you have to “tip-toe down a ramp.”
It is worth mentioning that Biden is not the first national political figure to experience a stumble in public. President Gerald Ford fell while disembarking Air Force One in 1975, and GOP Senator Bob Dole, the GOP presidential nominee at the time, fell off the stage during a campaign rally in 1996. President Barack Obama tripped while ascending stairs to a stage during a 2012 event, jokingly attributing it to being fired up. President Donald Trump’s cautious descent down a ramp during the 2020 West Point commencement also raised concerns about his health.
(With inputs from agencies)

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