Joe Biden trips and falls three times boarding US presidential plane

2021-03-20 13:28:24
Joe Biden trips and falls three times boarding US presidential plane

US President Joe Biden stumbled and fell three times on the steps of Air Force One on Friday, prompting fresh questions about his health.

The 78-year-old, who is the oldest president in US history, appeared to struggle as he boarded the US presidential plane.

Biden stumbled slightly about halfway up the 25 or so stairs, recovered, then stumbled twice more and briefly went down on one knee, according to video footage.

Security officials, meanwhile, looked on with concern from the ground.

The president recovered to give a salute at the top of the stairs before departing to meet with Asian American community leaders in the wake of the massacre in Atlanta, Georgia.

Officials travelling with Biden said it had been a windy morning at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One took off.

The White House said he "is doing 100 per cent fine" after his fall.

American leaders have a history of struggling with the stairs used to board the aircraft - which has cost the Pentagon more than $5 billion, but rarely have the falls been so spectacular.

In late November, Biden suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot while playing with one of his dogs, requiring him to wear an orthopedic boot for several weeks.

Questions have been raised about Biden’s physical, and mental, acuity. The president on Thursday accidentally called Kamala Harris, Vice President, “President Harris”.

Throughout the election campaign he has engaged in numerous malapropisms, slurred words, mispronouncing words and misidentifying people, such as calling his wife Jill his sister.

A senior pro-Kremlin politician in Russia accused Biden of having dementia on Thursday, striking back after the US president called his counterpart Vladimir Putin a "killer".

(Source: News agencies)

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