Biden remains 'healthy' and 'vigorous,' his physician says
By Kevin Liptak, CNN
(CNN) -- President Joe Biden remains "healthy" and "vigorous," his physician reported Thursday after a routine physical, and is "fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency."
The physical, which occurred earlier in the day at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, did result in a small lesion on Biden's chest being removed for a biopsy, the results of which are still pending.
Other exams of the president's head, ears, eyes, nose and throat were normal. An "extremely detailed" neurologic exam found no findings that would be consistent with stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease.
Biden still experiences a "stiff gait," the report said, and he was prescribed custom orthotics to help with his feet. He continues to work out five days a week and his contact lens prescription was updated.
The report from Dr. Kevin O'Connor is likely the last health update before Biden makes his reelection intentions known in the coming months.
O'Connor said the most notable health event for Biden over the past year was his bout with Covid-19 over the summer. O'Connor said Biden's blood oxygen levels didn't fall below 97% and that his vital signs remained normal throughout the ordeal.
According to the health report, Biden hasn't experienced any residual symptoms considered to be long Covid.
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 spent the morning at Walter Reed in Maryland receiving his routine physical. It was Biden's second since becoming president. In 2021, his doctor similarly reported the president was a "healthy, vigorous" 78-year-old fit to serve as commander-in-chief
Presidents are under no legal requirement to release information about their health and can choose which details are made public. Reports from the White House physician over the last several decades have consistently described the office-holder as fit to serve.
The document contained a detailed accounting of the physical exam, including his height of 6 feet; his weight of 178 pounds -- down six pounds from his last physical; and his blood pressure of 128/77. Biden did not drink or use tobacco, the document said.
As with his previous physical in 2021, the White House did not say whether Biden underwent any cognitive tests, which some doctors recommend for older adults.
Biden, who would be 86 at the end of a potential second term, has faced consistent questions about his age and health from conservative critics. Even many Democrats say in polls they are concerned about his age. He has sought to rebut those doubts by pointing to his record and stamina: "Watch me," he often says to those who point out his age.
More recently, Biden has also questioned the accuracy of polls that show a majority of Democrats want another candidate as their nominee next year. "That's not what I hear," he said in an interview with Telemundo last week. "Look, do you know any polling that's accurate these days?"
The White House originally said Biden would complete his physical by the end of January, but the date slid amid a busy travel schedule.
The last time Biden's physician provided regular updates on the president's health was during his bout with Covid-19 last summer. Biden experienced a brief spike in temperature, body aches, a runny nose and fatigue, but was otherwise fine. After taking the antiviral Paxlovid, he experienced a rebound infection, forcing him to remain at the White House for several weeks.
During Biden's 2021 physical, O'Connor singled out two areas of "observation": an "increasing frequency and severity of 'throat clearing' and coughing during speaking engagements" and the president's ambulatory gait, or walking abnormality, which O'Connor said was "perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago."
Both have been noticeable elements of Biden's public appearances since taking office.
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