Doctors raise concerns over Biden’s health as president makes 2024 announcement
Medical experts have raised concerns about whether President Joe Biden is fit to serve another term after the 80-year-old officially launched his reelection campaign. They fear Biden's health issues, including a history of brain aneurysms and a heart condition, combined with signs of cognitive impairment, could deteriorate further during another term and increase the risk of an on-screen accident.
In his first term, the president made a series of high-profile gaffes and falls, showing signs of disorientation, including stumbling up Air Force One's steps and falling off his bike in Delaware.
America's oldest president is suffering from seven conditions in total, including a heart condition that causes dizziness and confusion, according to his yearly physical exam.
Concerns expressed by doctors
Dr. Elena Mucci, a geriatrician and American College of Physicians member told DailyMail, “If I was his geriatrician, I would discourage him from campaigning. I'd strongly advocate against it.”
Dr. Mucci added, “If you were to survey healthcare professionals, geriatricians, cardiologists, I don't think you will find a single physician who would say it's a good thing for an 86-year-old with the symptoms he's demonstrated to us already to become a president, both for the sake of his own health and for the sake of his country.”
Dr Stuart Fischer, an internal medicine physician in New York, told DailyMail, “The increased risk is not only from the fibrillation but from secondary effects from the medicine. These people take blood thinners, and when people take these drugs, they are at risk for internal bleeding or serious consequences from a fall.”
Two months ago, Biden stumbled up the stairs of Air Force One as he returned to the United States after a three-day European visit. He fell up the same stairs just two months into his presidency in March 2021. He also fell off his bike in June while spending a weekend in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
Dr. Fischer said the older people get, the more frequent and severe the falls become. He said, “[If] someone falls and hits their head or hips while on a blood thinner, there is more of a chance of a medical emergency than for people not on anticoagulants.”
“A head injury when someone is an anticoagulant is potentially disastrous,” Fisher added.
Biden's Health Challenges: Impact on Approval for a Second Term
Biden's most recent medical report reveals that he has elevated cholesterol levels, which can be a risk factor for heart attack, kidney disease, and stroke. He also has a history of atrial fibrillation, with which he has suffered since 2003.
The president takes the blood thinner apixaban to treat the heart condition and medical professionals indicate that symptoms of atrial fibrillation may include fatigue. Such a condition could impact the patient's performance capabilities and limit their ability to fulfill all their responsibilities. This is particularly challenging for individuals of advanced age who are managing these conditions.
Recent polls show that only 26% of Americans and 47% of Democrats want Biden to run for a second term, with age being the main concern.
Cognitive Decline and Dementia Risk
According to last year's National Health and Aging Trends Study, approximately 11% of individuals in President Biden's age group show signs of significant dementia.
However, this number rises to nearly 20% for those aged 85 to 89, which is the age bracket Biden would fall into towards the end of a potential second term.
Dr. Kevin O'Connor, President Biden's personal physician, has consistently maintained in annual physical examination reports that the President is in good mental and physical health. Dr. O'Connor has also included references to evaluations by neurologists and orthopedists to support his assessments.
Despite these assurances, there is a noticeable absence of MRI reports and comprehensive cognitive testing in the available information on the president's health.
Cognitive decline and the risk of dementia are also elevated as the president ages into his mid-eighties. Medical professionals have expressed concern, stating that Biden's performance in reasoning and memory is impaired, making it difficult to envision him as fit to serve as under these circumstances.
Throughout his time in the public eye, President Biden has been known for making gaffes, having mix-ups, and occasionally tripping during speeches or while answering questions. These incidents have raised speculation about his physical and cognitive health. Some of Biden's most notable gaffes include confusing Libya with Syria, tripping up the stairs of Air Force One, referring to Vice President Kamala Harris as "President Harris," and forgetting the name of his Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.