U.S. President Joe Biden, who underwent a physical examination and colonoscopy on Friday, remains fit for duty and able to execute his responsibilities without any accommodations, his physician said in letter released by the White House.
“President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the president, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician wrote in his summary.
O’Connor said the colonoscopy found a polyp that appeared to be benign and was easily removed.
“Histologic evaluation is anticipated to be completed early next week,” the physician said. “The president has never had colon cancer.”
O’Connor highlighted two areas that he said deserved investigation — specifically Biden’s recent “throat clearing” and what he described as a stiffened gait.
O’Connor wrote that Biden is experiencing “throat clearing” with “increasing frequency and severity” and said that he attributed it to a digestive disorder known as gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD.
O’Connor noted Biden’s broken foot he suffered roughly a year ago could contribute to the awkward walk, but he more broadly said Biden was dealing with spinal arthritis and “peripheral neuropathy,” or some loss of sensation in the feet.
“The President’s gait appears to be perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it has been in the past. He does specifically acknowledge early morning stiffness that improves throughout the day,” the doctor said.
The document contained a detailed accounting of the physical exam, including his height of 5 feet 11.65 inches; his weight of 184 pounds; and his blood pressure of 120/70.
The president takes five medications, O’Connor wrote, including Crestor to address high cholesterol; Dymista nasal spray for allergies; Allegra for allergies; Eliquis as a blood thinner; and Pepcid to treat GERD.
The last extensive update on Biden’s medical state came in December 2019, ahead of the presidential campaign, when the same doctor described him as “a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”
Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, had not released a full report on his health since.
Biden received a routine colonoscopy Friday while at Walter Reed. The process, which required anesthesia, meant that he temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris, who became the first woman to assume presidential power for 85 minutes Friday morning.
The moment, while historical, doesn’t count as a woman having served as U.S. president, said Debbie Walsh, the director of the Center for American Women and Politics, a research group.
But it does reinforce that “for the first time a woman is the number one person in the line of succession,” she said. “It is still not the presidency, that glass ceiling has not yet been broken.”
The U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment lays out a process for the president to transfer power when he is unable to discharge his duties.
Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, is the oldest person to take office as U.S. president, leading to high interest in his health and well-being. Although speculation has persisted about whether he will run for re-election in 2024, he has said he expects to seek a second four-year term.
Photo – US President Joe Biden heads to Marine One from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, USA. EPA-EFE/Samuel Corum / POOL