Despite White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s assertion that the staff would not make changes to try to keep President Joe Biden from falling again, a new report is detailing the steps his staff has taken to avoid such incidents.
On Tuesday, Axios published a report titled, “Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission.”
“President Biden and his campaign are working on a critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn’t trip,” the outlet’s Alex Thompson wrote.
He added, “As voters express deep concerns about the 80-year-old president’s age and fitness for office, Biden’s team is taking extra steps to prevent him from stumbling in public — as he did in June, when he tripped over a sandbag at the Air Force Academy.
Thompson reported the president has been working on balance exercises with a physical therapist since November 2021.
The report suggested Biden’s “balance difficulties are likely the result of what his physician has diagnosed as ‘a combination of significant spinal arthritis’ and ‘mild post-fracture foot arthritis.'”
His physical therapist reportedly recommended he practice “proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.” However, professor James Gordon, associate dean and chair of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California, told Axios, “I have never heard the term ‘proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.’ It is not a clinical term in standard use.”
Additionally, Axios noted Biden has more often been wearing tennis shoes in an attempt to avoid slipping and has been using a shorter set of stairs up to Air Force One.
“Democrats, including some in the administration, are terrified that Biden will have a bad fall — with a nightmare scenario of it happening in the weeks before the November 2024 election,” Thompson reported.
He added, “Some senior Democrats privately have been frustrated with Biden’s advance team for months, citing the sandbag incident and noting that the president often appears not to know which direction to go after he speaks at a podium.”
A White House spokesman dismissed the report as part of “an unfortunate pattern of media attempting to sensationalize something that has long been public, rather than covering the president’s very real achievements for hardworking Americans.”
But like it or not, there are many Americans who are concerned about Biden’s age who might care to know his aides are trying to help him. And sure, it is kind of a double-edged sword if the White House admits it is trying to make accommodations to prevent the president from falling.
On the one hand, it keeps concerns alive about his age and fitness for the job. But when Jean-Pierre insisted no changes were being made to keep Biden from falling, it came off as though the staff just sees the president as an elderly grandpa they only need to keep alive and well enough to be able to sign off on legislation.
Still, despite those small changes, they are leaving out one big and easy fix: making sure Biden knows where to go when he’s done speaking.
They seem to have figured out ways to try to avoid falls, but between trying out new shoes and new exercises, the seemingly easiest fix of making sure he knows where to walk appears to have gone unaddressed.
If they could master that and keep him upright, there would still be the issue of the bizarre sentences that come out of his mouth sometimes, but the amount of content featuring strange and concerning incidents would decrease. But apparently keeping him on his feet is the best they can do.
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