Biden trips, falls during ceremony at military academy

Washington, Jun 1 (EFE).- President Joe Biden tripped and fell to the ground on Thursday during the graduation ceremony for cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The 80-year-old US leader, the first octogenarian to serve in the White House, on Thursday flew from Washington DC to Colorado for the graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs.

After delivering a speech and handing out the last diploma to the cadets, Biden turned around to be seated but apparently tripped on a black sandbag that was on the stage and fell to his knees.

Immediately, the president, who was wearing a baseball cap, tried to get up himself, although an Air Force officer and two members of the US Secret Service instantly were there to help him to his feet.

After getting back on his feet and pointing to the sandbag, Biden – who was apparently unharmed – remained standing for a few minutes onstage until the ceremony concluded, smiling and giving the thumbs up sign while mingling with other officials.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters later that the president was “totally fine” and that he boarded Air Force One to return to the US capital with “a big smile” on his face.

This is not the first time that Biden, who is running for reelection in 2024, has taken a tumble in public.

In March 2021, a few months after taking office, he stumbled three times while quickly climbing the stairway to board Air Force One after making a visit to Atlanta.

In June 2022, he fell to the ground while getting off his bike after a ride near the beach in Delaware, where he was spending the weekend with his wife, first lady Jill Biden.

The president also lost his balance when he stopped to greet several local residents, but members of the Secret Service quickly helped him back to his feet.

Biden has not appeared to injure himself in any of the falls he has taken.

In February, after a physical exam, Biden’s doctors declared him to be healthy and fit to carry out his presidential duties, noting that he does not drink alcohol or smoke and exercises “at least” five times a week.

EFE –/bp