President Joe Biden is healthy, vigorous, and fit for duty, his physician wrote in a memo after the president’s annual physical Friday morning at Walter Reed Medical Center.
Biden, 78, is the oldest first-term president in U.S. history, and his mental state has been questioned by many Republicans since he took office last January.
He received a routine colonoscopy Friday while at Walter Reed, a process that required anesthesia and a short transfer of power to Vice President Kamala Harris for 85 minutes.
But although the overall conclusion was that he was fit for duty, there were some areas requiring attention, the doctor’s report said.
He is on a blood thinner. He also has signs of “nonvalvular atrial fibrillation,” essentially an irregular heartbeat, but this was said to be asymptomastic and had not required any medicinal or electrical treatments.
Increasingly severe throat-clearing was another area warranting investigation, the report said. However it said this perception may be exacerbated by the greater attention paid to Biden’s speaking as president.
One more issue: “The president’s ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago,” the report said. “He has several reasonable explanations for this in his orthopedic history, but again, a detailed investigation was appropriate.”
Presidents are not required to disclose results of their checkups.
On balance, the report said, “”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.”
So wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor in the summary.
Former White House physician Ronny Jackson, now a U.S. representative, earlier this year called for Biden to take a cognitive assessment. Former President Donald Trump took it, and aced it, he told reporters in 2018.
“The American people deserve to have absolute confidence in their President,” Jackson said in a news release signed by 13 other congressional lawmakers in June. “I would argue that the American people don’t have that confidence in President Biden.”
O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary care physician since 2009, also made reference to hyperlipidemia, gastroesophageal reflux, seasonal allergies, spinal arthritis, and mild sensory peripheral neuropathy of both feet.
“For these, he takes three common prescription medications and two common over-the-counter medications,” O’Connor wrote.
Biden said he was feeling “Great!” after he left the medical center in the afternoon.
“Great physical, and a great House of Representatives vote,” he said, referring to the House passage of his roughly $2 trillion “Build Back Better” plan.
At the White House, Biden said, “Nothing’s changed” with his health, joking, “We’re in great shape, and I’m looking forward to celebrating my 58th birthday.”