US President Joe Biden tripped and fell over during a graduation ceremony at the US Air Force Academy on Thursday.
The 80-year-old American head of state was quickly helped to his feet by three people and was able to walk back to his seat without further problems following the tumble in Colorado.
A White House official later communicated that the fall had not seriously injured Biden and that the President was fine. In contrast, Biden’s political opponents have said that video of the American commander and chief falling over was further proof that his health has deteriorated too much for him to be a suitable leader.
Joe Biden fell over at Air Force graduation ceremony
According to White House communications director Ben LaBolt, Biden is in good condition following the fall.
During the lengthy graduation ceremony, Biden stood for most of the time to greet the graduates. Towards the end, while handing out the final diploma, he seemed to trip over an object and fell to his knees.
An Air Force officer and two members of his US Secret Service detail promptly assisted the president in getting back up. Concerned onlookers, including some members of the official delegation on stage, watched as the leader returned to his seat.
During his speech at Colorado Springs, Biden addressed over 900 cadets and cautioned them about entering service in a world that is becoming more unstable. He specifically mentioned the challenges posed by Russia and China.
Some Republicans and political commentators were quick to suggest that Biden falling over was a sign that he is losing control of his faculties and is not fit for office.
Many voters in the US hold the belief that Biden’s age is a genuine concern as he pursues a second term as president. Republican Party candidates view his age and suitability for office as a clear and impactful point of attack.
There have been other instances of Biden taking a tumble and critics argue that he regularly loses his train of thought during speeches.
Biden’s supporters argue that these criticisms are unfounded and merely attempts to discredit him. As president, he undergoes regular medical check-ups, and they argue that there is no evidence to indicate any physical or mental incompetence.
Throughout his life, Biden has faced the challenge of managing a stutter, which his supporters believe accounts for his occasional less fluent delivery in speeches.