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Biden Is Fit For Duty, Writes Doctor After His Latest Physical Exam

Biden Is Fit For Duty, Writes Doctor After His Latest Physical Exam

President Biden is “fit for duty” and does not have any new health concerns, his doctor wrote after a physical exam conducted Wednesday that was closely watched amid voter concerns about Biden’s age while seeking reelection.

“The President feels well and this year’s physical identified no new concerns. He continues to be fit for duty and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote in a memo shared with reporters.

O’Connor’s summary of the visit described Biden as a “healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male, who remains fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”

The president’s health was not significantly changed from his last physical exam in February 2023, O’Connor wrote. Biden noted he had increased discomfort in his left hip, and an exam revealed “mild arthritic changes.”

O’Connor wrote that an “extremely detailed neurological exam” showed there were no findings consistent with any disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s. Biden showed “excellent” motor skills.

Biden did not undergo a cognitive test. Doctors determined it was not necessary, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“He passes a cognitive test every day as he moves from one topic to another test, understanding the granular level of these topics,” she added.

O’Connor calling the president a “healthy, active, robust 81-year-old” provides a sharp contrast to the comments in special counsel Robert Hur’s report on the president’s handling of classified documents that described him as an elderly man with memory problems. Hur referred to Biden’s memory multiple times in that report, fueling more concerns about his age and cognitive ability.

The president’s gait is stiff as a result of arthritis, but has not worsened since last year, O’Connor wrote.The memo outlined some previously reported changes to Biden’s health, including that he now uses a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine in recent weeks to improve his sleep quality. He also underwent a root canal in June.

The president’s acid reflux, seasonal allergies, spinal arthritis and nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, also called an A-fib, are all “stable and well-controlled.”

The president is 170 pounds and does not use any tobacco products, doesn’t drink, and works out “at least five days a week.” O’Connor added in his social history that he has been “happily married for 46 years.”

The White House is likely to point to the results to brush aside concerns about Biden’s age and fitness for office as he seeks reelection. Biden is 81 and would be 86 at the end of a potential second term.

O’Connor, in the report, said that sleep apnea affects over 30 million Americans and that Biden has experienced symptoms of it since 2008, in what appeared to be an attempt to fend off concerns over it.

“He has remarkably committed to sticking with therapy and uses PAP successfully almost every night, for most or all of the night,” O’Connor wrote. White House reporters in recent months have noticed marks on the president’s face, indicating he had used the machine to sleep.

Polling has shown many voters, including some Democrats, think Biden is too old to run again, and Republicans have constantly seized on his verbal gaffes or his stiff gait to argue he isn’t up to the job.

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted earlier this month found that 86 percent of Americans believe he is too old to serve in office. That poll was conducted days after a special counsel report cleared Biden of wrongdoing in his handling of classified documents but made repeated references to his poor memory.

Biden’s likely opponent, former President Trump, is 77, and has had his own verbal slips in recent weeks. Trump has said Biden is not too old to run again, but that he is “incompetent.”

Trump last November released a note from his doctor that asserted the former president was in “excellent health,” though it provided very few specifics about his most recent physical exam.

Biden, meanwhile, suggested in an interview Monday with late night host Seth Meyers that the real issue was not the candidates’ ages, but “how old [their] ideas are.”

“You got to take a look at the other guy, he’s about as old as I am, but he can’t remember his wife’s name,” Biden said.

Biden earlier on Wednesday also joked about his age after he finished his physical exam at Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland.

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