White House physician says Biden remains ‘fit for duty’ after routine medical exam

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President Joe Biden remains “fit” to conduct his duties as president, according to a medical memo released by the White House following a routine physical exam on Thursday.

“President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” White House physician Kevin O’Connor said in a five-page memo.

O’Connor said his assessment was based 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.

After a dermatology consultation, one small lesion on Biden’s chest was removed and sent for biopsy, O’Connor said.

Biden’s previous physical was in November 2021, when O’Connor also said he was “fit for duty” and could carry out his responsibilities “without any exemptions or accommodations.”

At that time, O’Connor first observed that the president, then 78, had a “stiffened” gait following a foot fracture. In Thursday’s memo, O’Connor said Biden’s gait “remains stiff, but has not worsened.”

The latest medical assessment also said that Biden has no residual symptoms from when he contracted Covid in July.

Biden continues to take medication and is asymptomatic for a heart arrhythmia know as atrial fibrillation, O’Connor said. Additionally, he takes medication for cholesterol, which remains “remarkably low,” the memo said.

The president also experiences acid reflux, which is why he can sometimes be heard clearing his throat, O’Connor said.

The exam did not include cognitive testing. In a neurological assessment, the president did not show signs of any issues, the memo said.

O’Connor said after Biden’s 2021 exam that an “extremely detailed neurologic exam” showed no disorders, such as the possibility of a stroke, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s.

Biden was expected to have his exam in January, but it was postponed due to schedule conflicts, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier this month.

In 2021, Biden’s exam included a colonoscopy, which required sedation. This time, he did not have a colonoscopy, Jean-Pierre said.

Thursday’s examination took about 3 hours, Jean-Pierre said.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News earlier in the day, Biden described his exam by saying: “Well, everything really went well. God, love him. Thank God for small favors.”

Biden, now 80, hasn’t explicitly said he plans to run for a second term. He is expected to make a decision and announcement soon.

If Biden runs again, he’ll be 81 during the 2024 presidential election and would be 86 at the end of a full second term.

Before his 2021 exam, his previous full medical assessment was publicly released in 2019 by his campaign when he was running for the Democratic nomination. At the time, Biden was described by O’Connor, of The George Washington University, as a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief.”

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