"Healthy" and "strong": According to his doctor, US President Joe Biden is fit to hold office. The 80-year-old is capable of successfully fulfilling the duties of the President, his longtime doctor Kevin O'Connor wrote on Thursday. Biden had previously undergone regular health checks - the White House eventually released the five-page report. Biden was the oldest president ever to enter the White House. His state of health is a constant source of debate in the United States.
In the United States, presidents are regularly required to disclose their health status. This is not legally required; but it has become a kind of ritual that no president can avoid. Various examinations were therefore scheduled for Thursday in the Walter Reed Military Hospital near the capital Washington.
A "small lesion" on his chest was removed during skin cancer screening, it said. These are now being examined in the laboratory. A result was still pending. Examinations of Biden's ears, eyes, or throat were normal. According to his doctor, after his Covid-19 illness in the summer, Biden no longer had any symptoms.
However, the 80-year-old has one or two ailments. This includes, for example, a "stiff gait" - which is why Biden is prescribed custom-made orthoses. According to the report, the 80-year-old is struggling with spinal arthritis, among other things. Biden also suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease. According to the doctor, the digestive disease means that Biden has to clear his throat and cough more often. The symptoms worsened after meals. Examinations of the lungs and airways, on the other hand, did not reveal any abnormalities.
In addition, Biden is being treated for non-valvular atrial fibrillation. According to O'Connor, Biden has no symptoms. Biden also trains five times a week, is 1.83 meters tall and weighs almost 81 kilos. The doctor also noted that Biden does not smoke and does not drink alcohol. The examination did not reveal any findings that would indicate a stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes or Parkinson's disease. The report's findings were broadly consistent with the results of the President's last inquest in November 2021.
Biden has so far declared his intention to run for a second term. The Democrat has not yet announced a final decision on this – the decision is eagerly awaited. Given his advanced age, even within Biden's own party, there are reservations as to whether he would be the best candidate. At the next presidential election in 2024, Biden would be 81 years old, at the start of a second term 82, and then 86 at the end.
US Republican Nikki Haley had previously called for mandatory intellectual competency tests for politicians over the age of 75. The 51-year-old has just announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. Her proposal was also discussed at the daily press conference in the White House on Thursday.
When asked whether Biden would be willing to carry out such a test should the population demand it, the US President's spokeswoman responded tight-lipped. "I'm not going to go into hypotheses here," she said. Biden's doctor's report did not say whether the president underwent any cognitive tests during the check-up.