Doctors concerned about Biden's health after re-election announcement

Is 80-year-old Joe Biden really fit for four more years? After a first term marked by gaffes and falls, doctors tell they fear for health of President who has suffered two brain aneurysms and has a heart issue that raises his risk of dementia

  • A 2020 study determined Biden had a 66 percent chance of making it to 85
  • If he is re-elected to run for a second term, he will be 86 by the end of it in 2026
  • READ MORE: Biden’s term of blunders

Doctors have raised concerns about Biden’s health after he officially launched his reelection campaign 

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, who would be 86 at the end of a second stint in the White House, is already showing signs of ‘cognitive impairment’ and that the stress of another presidency could deteriorate his condition further and raise the risk of an on-screen accident.

The President’s first term has been marked by a series of high-profile gaffes, falls and visible signs of disorientation – including stumbling up the steps of Air Force One and falling off his bike in Delaware. 

Biden’s yearly physical exam revealed America’s oldest President is suffering from seven conditions, including a heart condition that makes the muscle beat too fast, causing dizziness and confusion. He has also suffered two brain aneurysms.

Dr Elena Mucci, a geriatric doctor and American College of Physicians member, told ‘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 to 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.’ 

Biden has a history of atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, which he has suffered since 2003. He takes the blood thinner apixaban, brand name Eliquis, to treat the heart condition.

Dr Mucci said: ‘If you open any medical book, one of the symptoms [of atrial fibrillation] is tiredness. 

‘That will limit his activity, and not just limit his activity — he physically might not be able to perform all his duties. It’s just impossible with these conditions at that age.’

Biden’s medical conditions 

Non-vascular fibrillation

This is a heart condition characterized by an irregular heartbeat, which is not caused by a problem with a heart valve. It can be caused by high blood pressure.

It is one of the cardiovascular risks for dementia. 


This is high cholesterol and can raise the chance of certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Stiffened gait 

This manifests as a stiff walk. His health summary concluded that the stiffness is ‘a result of degenerative wear and tear’. 

Skin cancer 

Biden had a skin lesion removed from his chest in February, which was cancerous. White House doctor Kevin O’Connor said no further treatment was needed.

Mild sensory peripheral neuropathy of feet – nerve damage

Gastroesophageal reflux – acid reflux

Seasonal allergies 

Dr Stuart Fischer, an internal medicine physician in New York, told ‘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 headed back to the United States after a three-day visit to Europe.

He fell up the same stairs just two months into his presidency in March 2021. In June, he also fell off his bike while spending a weekend away 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,’ he said.

Biden’s high cholesterol was also noted in his latest health summary, which Dr Fischer said is ‘a risk factor for a heart attack, a stroke or kidney disease’.

Dr Fischer said: ‘The blood supply to the heart, kidney and brain slowly becomes impaired through the course of our lives. 

‘The longer we live, the higher the chances of poor circulation.’

A poll this week by The Associated Press found that just 26 percent of Americans and 47 percent of Democrats want Biden to run for a second term.

Interviews with poll respondents suggested the main concern was his age.

A separate CNBC All-America Economic Survey said 70 percent of people said they did not want Biden to run, mainly citing his age.

Dr Fischer told ‘In a case like President Biden, there is a higher level of responsibility. 

‘He would be the oldest president in history, you couldn’t be at the top of your game, in any profession. You can’t fool Mother Nature. No one can, try though we may.’ 

Biden has been careful not to publicly acknowledge or address concerns about his cognitive decline. 

Last year he shot down claims he is too old and mentally unfit to be president. ‘Watch me,’ he told CBS correspondent Scott Pelley during an interview.

But Dr Mucci said it is common for people to downplay their cognitive difficulties. 

‘Whether you’re going to lose your presidency, or lose your driving license or lose your job, subjectively, you will be under-appreciating your symptoms, and not putting enough importance to those symptoms,’ she said.

‘I think [Biden] knows exactly what is going on, but he’s not openly acknowledged it because he doesn’t want to lose that presidency.’

Biden’s health issues and old age raise his risk of dementia, according to Dr Dung Trinh, an internal medicine physician in California.

He told ‘As we get older, we lose around one percent of our brain volume per year.

‘The risk of developing Alzheimer’s for someone who’s 70 versus the risk of developing Alzheimer’s for someone who’s 65 — that risk doubles in five years. 

‘If you’re in your mid 80s, 85 or beyond, probably 30 to 40 percent of folks show some mild symptoms of cognitive decline.’

Dr Todd Grande, a mental health expert in Biden’s home state of Delaware, said it was clear that Biden’s ‘performance in the areas of reasoning and memory are impaired.’

Dr Grande added: ‘It’s hard to imagine how he is fit to be president under these circumstances.’

What’s in Biden’s medical cabinet?

  • Blood thinner apixaban, brand name Eliquis, to treat his atrial fibrillation 
  • Rosuvastatin for his lipid levels and high cholesterol 
  • Fluticasone/azelastine nasal spray for his allergies, as well as fexofenadine
  • Pepcid for his gastroesophageal reflux

Despite growing concerns about Biden’s mental acuity, the President’s physician gave him a nearly clean bill of health in February.

He said in a five-page report that the President remains a ‘healthy, vigorous, 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency’.

But the cringeworthy gaffes have persisted. This month Biden — who boasts about his Irish heritage — accidentally made reference to British forces that persecuted Irish people instead of a New Zealand rugby team while delivering a speech in Ireland.

Biden has mostly laughed off his blunders. In 2018 referred to himself as a ‘gaffe machine’.

But Dr Mucci believes they are a sign of deterioration.

‘It’s very difficult to say what we’re dealing with, is this just healthy aging? Or is this mild cognitive impairment, which is a pre-dementia. And time can tell you,’ she said.

‘If he’s having age-related changes, there will be a continuous and slow decline. It’s inevitable. However, if he’s experiencing mild cognitive impairment, the memory decline will be much faster.

‘We know that about 10 to 15 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment actually develop dementia.’

She said that even if the slips of the tongue are not a sign of an underlying issue, being an effective president at such an old age is a tall order.

‘My personal and professional opinion is probably no [he won’t be an effective leader]. 

‘The reason being it’s inevitable that [he] will be in a position where very important decisions have to be made in the blink of an eye, in stressful situations, in a very short period of time.

‘Someone who is in that position that you are 80 plus and you are undergoing all this age-related changes to the brain, you just might not have that brain processing speed to analyze, process and digest the information quickly enough to come up with the important decisions. That’s not been ageist, this is just common sense.’

She added: ‘He might not have dementia, he might not have mild cognitive impairment. This could be all natural aging, but someone of that status has to be sharp. Someone in his position, I don’t think it’s acceptable [to be forgetting things].’

Confusing Libya and Syria, tripping up the stairs, and calling Kamala Harris ‘president’: Biden’s numerous gaffes over the years

Over the past few years, President Joe Biden has made the news for things he’s said and done – but not related to policy.

Rather the 79-year-old has had a knack for gaffes. 

During speeches or while answering questions, Biden is known to make mistakes, have mix-ups or even digress. 

The commander-in-chief has even been caught tripping a time or two, raising speculation about his physical health. has compiled many of Biden’s notable mis-speaks, foot-in-mouth moments and slips.


‘I’m hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in — for example, in — in Libya,’ the president said, mentioning the north African country for the third time instead of Syria, in the Middle East. Biden is pictured in Cornwall, United Kingdom on June 13

The White House later brushed the confusion off, confirming that it was indeed, Syria, the country where Russia and the US have been involved in a decade-long civil war, which the president was referring to

Biden repeatedly confused Syria with Libya while discussing ways of working with Russia during a press conference at the G7 on June 13.

The 78-year-old gaffe machine spoke of working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide economic assistance to the people of Libya, prompting some confused glances from the press pack at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England.

‘I’m hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in — for example, in — in Libya,’ the president said, mentioning the north African country for the third time instead of Syria, which is in the Middle East.

The White House later brushed the confusion off, confirming that the president was indeed referring to Syria, the country where Russia and the US have been involved in a decade-long civil war.  


Over the years, President Joe Biden has made numerous gaffes and mix-ups and has even been caught falling. Pictured: Biden falling while walking up the stairs of Air Force One on March 19

On March 19, he was caught tripping up the stairs as he boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews

On March 19, video captured Biden tripping up the stairs as he boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. 

In the clip, Biden stumbles as he walks up the airstairs. He grabs the hand railing to catch his balance, but then loses his footing two additional times.

During the third stumble, he falls to his knees. However, after brushing off his leg, he reaches the top of the plane and gives a salute before disappearing inside.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later told reporters that Biden was ‘100 percent fine’ and preparing for his trip in Atlanta. 

‘It’s pretty windy outside. It’s very windy. I almost fell coming up the steps myself,’ she said.


Just one day earlier, during a press conference on March 18 (pictured), he referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘President Harris’

Just one day earlier, Biden accidentally referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘President Harris.’

The gaffe occurred during a press conference on March 18, during which he lauded his administration for being close to meeting their goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office.

‘Now when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that, on that tour injecting people, giving vaccinations, said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope,’ Biden said.

Harris was standing behind Biden as the president carried on with his speech, but did not correct himself.

Later that day, when the White House released the transcript of his speech, Harris’s proper title was inserted with brackets.


On March 9, while making a speech, Biden seemed to forget the name of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (above)

In a speech on March 9, Biden seemed to fumble with his words and forget the name of his Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

‘I want to thank Sec – the former general – I keep calling him “General,”‘ Biden said.

‘My – the guy who runs that outfit over there. I want to make sure we thank the Secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we’ve just talked about, and for recommending these two women for promotion.’   

The slip-occurred despite the fact that just a few minutes earlier, he had mentioned Austin’s name in the speech without an issue.


On Election Day, in November, Biden introduced a crowd to his granddaughter, but referred to her as his son

During an Election Day speech in Philadelphia, Biden stumbled over his words and confused his granddaughter with his late son, Beau Biden. 

Biden told the crowd: ‘I want to introduce you to two of my granddaughters…this is my son, Beau Biden who a lot of you helped elect to the Senate in Delaware.’

The commander-in-chief had meant to introduce the crowed to Natalie, Beau’s daughter, but hadn’t just mixed up the name but the person – he also put his arm around Finnegan Biden, Hunter’s daughter.

He finally corrected himself as he draped his arm around Natalie’s shoulder and said: ‘This is Natalie, this is Beau’s daughter.’  

Beau Biden passed away in 2015 after a months-long battle with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest types of brain cancer. 


In 2008, Biden told then-Missouri state senator Chuck Graham to stand up for the crowd at a rally, before realizing he was in a wheelchair

Not all of Biden’s gaffes occurred in the 2020s or even the 2010s. In fact, some happened in the early aughts.

In September 2008, after Biden had been named former President Barack Obama’s running mate, he attended a campaign rally in Missouri.

It was there that he called on then-Missouri state senator Chuck Graham, who passed away last year. to stand up for the crowd.

‘I’m told Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up Chuck, let ’em see you,’ Biden said.

It was at that moment he realized Graham was in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy.

‘Oh, God love you. What am I talking about. I’ll tell you what, you’re making everybody else stand up, though, pal.’

According to the Columbia Tribune, Graham said he was never offended by the mistake.        

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