President Joe Biden stumbled three times and fell on the steps of Air Force One on Friday, prompting fresh questions about his health.
The 78-year-old – the oldest president in US history – appeared to struggle as he boarded the presidential plane.
It was not immediately clear what tripped Mr Biden up the first time, but shortly after recovering, he fell twice more before dusting himself off. Security officials, meanwhile, looked on with concern from the ground.
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The president recovered to give a salute at the top of the stairs before departing to meet with Asian American community leaders in the wake of the massage parlour massacre in Atlanta, Georgia.
Reporters travelling with Mr Biden said it had been a windy morning at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, where Air Force One took off.
The White House said he “is doing 100 per cent fine” after his fall.
“I know folks have seen that President Biden slipped on his way up the stairs to AF1, but I’m happy to report that he is just fine and did not even require any attention from the medical team who travels with him,” said Kate Bedingfield, White House Communications Director. “Nothing more than a misstep on the stairs.”
American leaders have a history of struggling with the stairs used to board the aircraft – which has cost the Pentagon more than $5 billion (£3.5bn), but rarely have the falls been so spectacular.
Joe Biden just fell 3 times in a row trying to go up the stairs to Air Force One pic.twitter.com/gTUTckUH32
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 19, 2021
The commander-in-chief suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot while playing with his rescue dog Major in November, requiring him to wear an orthopaedic boot for several weeks.
Mr Biden, who has said he uses a Peloton bike to keep fit, often makes a point of jogging in a show of his fitness.
However, questions have been raised about Mr Biden’s mental, and physical, acuity. The president on Thursday accidentally called Kamala Harris, Vice President, “President Harris”.
Source: The Telegraph