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Biden gets annual physical at Walter Reed after Michigan win

Jordan Fabian, Michelle Jamrisko, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

President Joe Biden said he is undergoing a physical, a regular check-up during an election season in which voters have expressed concerns about his age and fitness to serve a second term.

“I’m going to Walter Reed to get my physical,” Biden told reporters as he left the White House Wednesday morning, referring to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

At 81, Biden is already the oldest president in U.S. history as he seeks reelection in November, with a likely rematch against former President Donald Trump, who is 77. Both cruised to victory in their parties’ Michigan primary elections Tuesday.

The White House described the appointment as “a routine annual physical” and said a written summary of the results would be released later Wednesday.

The president has faced growing questions about his physical and mental health in the last year, intensified by a special counsel report questioning his memory, a series of incidents in which he mixed up the names of world leaders, and the news that he uses a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, device to treat sleep apnea.

Biden has aggressively parried questions about his mental fitness, saying in an appearance on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers broadcast early Tuesday that Trump often misspeaks and that what matters is the policies each aims to implement.

 

“It’s about how old your ideas are,” Biden said.

After the president’s physical last February, his longtime physician Kevin O’Connor said Biden was “healthy,” “vigorous,” and fit to execute his presidential duties.

Still, that exam did little to dissuade Republican attacks over his age or voter unease. An NBC News poll taken in January showed three-quarters of voters, including half of Democrats, say they have concerns about his age. Less than half harbor such worries about Trump, even though the Republican is only four years younger.

‘Elderly man’

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