Home » Doctor says Biden is ‘energised’ as he prepares for 2024 election

Doctor says Biden is ‘energised’ as he prepares for 2024 election

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Doctor says Biden is ‘energised’ as he prepares for 2024 election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite testing positive twice last year for the coronavirus, President Joe Biden has no lingering symptoms and has been declared “healthy, vigorous” and “fit” to handle his responsibilities at the White House, according to a routine medical examination performed at Thursday.

The findings were contained in a note from Biden’s doctor summarizing exams conducted during a three-hour stay at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The conclusions reached by Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s personal physician since 2009, are likely to be closely scrutinized as the oldest president in history makes plans for an expected re-election campaign.

O’Connor concluded in a five-page memo that Biden “remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old man who is fit to successfully carry out the duties of the presidency.” But the doctor did not speculate on what Biden’s health might be at age 86, when the second term may be over.

The president had a lesion removed from his chest, which is undergoing a traditional biopsy. But Thursday’s results largely match findings since the president’s last checkup in November 2021, which said his cough was due to acid reflux and his stiff gait was the result of spinal arthritis, a previous broken foot and neuropathy in his legs.

The memo generally described Biden’s health as “stable” compared to his last exam, although it noted that his calves and hamstrings may have tightened.

Biden tested positive in July for COVID-19 and had “very mild symptoms,” according to the White House. He also had a rebound infection and eventually tested negative on August 6 last year. The president continued to work even as he isolated himself in the White House.

“Well, everything went really well,” Biden told NBC News on Thursday about the exam before the memo was released.

Many people, including Democrats, have expressed reservations about Biden seeking a second term in 2024. Only 37 percent of Democrats say Biden should seek re-election, down from 52 percent before last November’s election, according to a recent poll The Associated Press-NORC Center for Research on Public Affairs. Overall, 22% of US adults say he should run again.

Subsequent interviews with people in the study indicated that Biden’s age was a major issue. They noted his cough, a greater sense of frailty in his walking, and times when he slurred his speech.

Biden had a colonoscopy in 2021, where a 3mm “benign polyp” was identified and removed. He did not have a colonoscopy during Thursday’s exam.

Asked in a recent PBS interview about his age and ability to be president, Biden responded with what has become his stock line: “Look at me. That’s all I can say.”

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.

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