Health Concerns Mount for Biden, Trump, McConnell
Politicians are facing doubts that they're physically and mentally fit for another term.
As the 2024 presidential and Senate elections encroach, three of the front-running men in Washington—President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell—are facing doubts that they're physically and mentally fit for another term. Read on to find out how many Americans are concerned and in what areas.
McConnell's Medical Incident
Last week, McConnell, 81, appeared to suffer a medical incident when he froze for 19 seconds when addressing reporters, causing colleagues to guide him back to his office. After a short while, McConnell returned to continue his statement, but the damage had been done. On Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley suggested on CBS's Face the Nation that McConnell should step aside. "I think Mitch McConnell did an amazing job when it comes to our judiciary. When we look at the judges, when we look at the Supreme Court, he's been a great leader," said Haley, a former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador. "But we've gotta stop electing people because they look good in a picture and they hold a baby well."
"What I am saying about Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, all of them: know when to walk away," she added.
Is Biden Fit For Another Term?
President Biden, now 80, is the oldest president in U.S. history. If victorious in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of his second term. A May NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 62% of Americans say they believe his mental fitness is a real concern they have about his ability to be president. "It's a serious vulnerability that will have Democrats biting their nails as the campaign heats up and holding their breath with each speech, news conference and debate," NPR reported.
And What About Trump?
Other experts have pointed out that Donald Trump if elected in 2024, would be 82 years old at the end of that presidential term—only four years younger than Biden. The same NPR/PBS/Marist poll found that 51% of Americans have real concerns about his mental fitness for the job.
Biden "Fit," White House Physician Says
In March, White House physician Kevin O'Connor released a five-page memo saying Biden remained "fit" to be president following a routine physical exam. "President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency," wrote O'Connor. He said he based his assessment on a "comprehensive review" of Biden's medical history and a detailed physical examination that included specialty consultations at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
What Biden's Last Physicals Showed
Biden's latest physical showed he had no residual symptoms after contracting COVID in July, O'Connor said. The president continues to take medication and is asymptomatic for the heart arrhythmia known as atrial fibrillation. He also takes medication for his cholesterol level, which remains "remarkably low," the memo said. In a neurological assessment, the president did not show signs of any issues, the memo said. After Biden's last physical in November 2021, O'Connor reported that an "extremely detailed neurologic exam" showed no disorders, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson's disease.