Feb 17, 2023

By Jane Brown

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U.S. President Joe Biden remains a “healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency,” the White House physician said Thursday after the president received his first physical exam in a year and a half.

The physical took place at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

One small lesion, however, was removed from the president’s chest during the examination and will be sent for a traditional biopsy, Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a letter that otherwise mostly reflected his last medical checkup from November 2021.

Biden’s routine physical has taken on extra scrutiny as the octogenarian is widely expected to announce a re-election bid in the coming weeks or months.

Already the oldest person to assume the presidency, Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term.

O’Connor observed that Biden’s gait remains stiff but has not worsened since his physical in 2021, attributing the stiffness to spinal arthritis, a previously broken foot and mild neuropathy in his feet.

The exam did show a “mild peripheral neuropathy” in both feet, O’Connor said. Biden did not demonstrate any motor weakness, the physician said, but showed a subtle difference in heat/cold sensation. O’Connor stressed that Biden’s symptoms have not progressed and have actually improved since his last exam.

Biden is being treated for non-valvular atrial fibrillation, or AFib, an irregular heartbeat that O’Connor said Biden experiences no symptoms of.

And he experiences “occasional symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux,” namely having to clear his throat often.

O’Connor said those symptoms are exacerbated shortly after meals.

Biden, who had a COVID-19 infection in July, followed by a rebound case, has not experienced any residual symptoms associated with “Long COVID,” O’Connor said.

Biden weighs 178 pounds and had a blood pressure rate of of 128/76 and pulse rate of 69, the physician’s report said. That’s six pounds less than the 184 pounds he weighed in 2021.

While Biden acknowledges that questions about his age are legitimate, he has also insisted he’s capable of serving four more years.

“Watch me,” Biden has said more than once, including in an interview last week.

“I would be completely, thoroughly honest with the American people if I thought there was any health problem, anything that would keep me from being able to do the job,” Biden told PBS NewsHour. “And, so we’ll see. But, you know, I just, I think people have to just watch me.”

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