President Biden, 80, falls during graduation ceremony, White House staff respond

White House officials have revealed that President Joe Biden is “fine” after tripping and falling over at an event in Colorado.

The 80-year-old president of the United States was handing out diplomas at a graduation ceremony for the US Air Force Academy on Thursday (June 1).

After shaking the hand of a graduate, Biden started to walk towards his seat from center stage, but ended up stumbling over a sandbag, falling forward, and landing on his right hip.

He then caught himself with his hands and got up on one knee while helped by a group of men – believed to be Secret Service agents and Air Force Academy.

You can watch the moment below:

The President – who is the nation’s oldest serving leader – strode back to his seat unassisted and then pointed back toward the ground where he tripped, indicating something had gotten in his path. He then mingled with other officials afterward, smiling and giving a “thumbs up” sign.

Footage from the incident quickly went viral on social media, with many users sharing their shock at the POTUS’ sudden fall. The White House’s communications director Ben LaBolt swiftly responded on Twitter, writing: “He’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands.”

In addition to this, BBC News reported that WH press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden boarded the plane from the event with “a big smile,” although one reporter alleged that he did not take questions before the flight.

A few officials have reacted to the fall, including former President Donald Trump – who is the Republican frontrunner to face Biden in the 2024 White House election.

The 76-year-old spoke about the incident at a campaign event in Iowa and said: “I hope he wasn’t hurt,” adding: “You got to be careful about that because you don’t – you don’t want that. Even if you have to tiptoe down the ramp.”

(Trump’s comments were poking fun at his own previous attempts to decent a ramp back in 2020.)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – another 2024 contender for the Republican nomination – also responded to the fall during a campaign event in New Hampshire: “We hope and wish Joe Biden a swift recovery from any injuries he may have sustained.”

He then added: “But we also wish the United States of America a swift recovery from the injuries it has sustained because of Joe Biden and his policies.”

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President Joe Biden at the Air Force Academy graduation ceremonies. Credit: Marc Piscotty / Getty

Two months ago, Biden formally announced that he is running for a second term. Critics have said he is too old to campaign as president for the second time, with a recent poll suggesting a majority of US voters are worried about his advanced age.

This isn’t the first public stumble the president has had, as he fell to the ground during a bike ride last year in Delaware and was seen slipping on the stairs as he boarded Air Force One.

Despite those incidents, Biden’s doctor has stated that is physically fit to serve in office. His last examination took place in February, and White House physician Dr Kevin O’Connor wrote at the time: “The President remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations,” per BBC.

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