On Friday, President Biden appeared confused and needed assistance from Japanese leader Fumio Kishida. While attempting to navigate a set of stairs, he stumbled and nearly fell. As the oldest president in U.S. history, Biden looked bewildered as first lady Jill Biden guided him by the hand to join his Japanese counterpart and his spouse for a photo opportunity in Hiroshima prior to the Group of Seven summit. After exchanging greetings with Kishida, the 80-year-old Biden curiously bent over with clenched fists in a boxer-like stance before shaking hands with Fumio Kishida, the prime minister’s 58-year-old wife.
Subsequently, at the age of 65, Kishida took charge and guided the American dignitaries to their designated positions for the photo session. He stepped in with politeness and assisted Biden in finding his place as the president moved at a slow pace and seemed visibly perplexed, gazing down uncertainly, unsure of where he was supposed to stand.
As the aging commander-in-chief struggled to determine his appropriate position, the first lady lightened the mood by joking, “We’ll figure it out.” Their hosts, displaying patience, waited alongside the first lady, understanding the need for the president to figure out where he should stand.
After some contemplation, Biden successfully resolved the issue and expressed his relief with a simple “all right,” accompanied by a smile, indicating his readiness for the group photograph.
Later that day, the president, known for his occasional blunders, encountered another mishap involving stairs, this time while descending rather than ascending. Video footage captured the scene as Biden arrived late for a tour of the Itsukushima Shrine, with the other world leaders already embarking on their tour while he slowly emerged from his limousine.
Approaching the group at a leisurely pace, Biden fixed his gaze on a small set of eight steps. Despite his focus, he stumbled momentarily, yet fortunately managed to regain his balance and prevent a fall.
With a seemingly unaffected demeanor, he maintained a smile as if the incident hadn’t occurred. Extending his hand once again, he greeted Kishida, who patiently waited at the bottom of the staircase.
After the shrine tour, the world leaders gathered for a group photograph, and this time Biden seemed to locate his position without much difficulty.
Biden’s age and occasional gaffes have become a significant concern as he campaigns for the White House once again in 2024. If he were to serve a full second term, he would be 86 by the end of it. Tripping incidents, including a notable one while boarding Air Force One, have occurred multiple times in the past, adding to these concerns.
According to a recent survey, 63% of Americans expressed doubt about Biden’s mental acuity to effectively lead the nation, while 62% believed he did not possess satisfactory physical health.
In a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in February, 59% of Democrats agreed that the statement “Joe Biden is too old to work in government” best characterized the president.
However, Biden’s physicians have emphasized his fitness for duty, and the White House has consistently asserted that he possesses the mental sharpness required for the demands of his role.
Biden acknowledged that he carefully considered his age before making the decision to run for office.