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Biden ‘fine’ after fall on stage at US Air Force Academy graduation

A White House aide said that the president was “fine” and said there was a sandbag on stage that Biden had tripped over.
/ Source: NBC News

President Joe Biden fell on stage at the graduation ceremony on Thursday for the U.S. Air Force Academy and is “fine,” a White House aide said.

After Biden shook the hands of more than 900 graduates, the president turned to head back to his seat and started to motion as if he was going to jog. He then appeared to trip and fell down on the stage.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden falls on stage during the 2023 United States Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony at Falcon Stadium, Thursday, June 1, 2023, at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.Andrew Harnik / AP

Biden, 80, was helped up by two U.S. Secret Service agents and one Air Force official, and then turned and pointed to something on stage that he may have tripped over.

Ben LaBolt, White House communications director, retweeted a reporter who posted about the incident and said Biden was OK.

After Biden returned to his seat, he continued to talk with graduates, taking photos and selfies. As he was leaving the event, he started to jog several times.

He later boarded Air Force One to fly back to Washington. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters “he’s totally fine” and noted that Biden boarded the plane smiling.

Last year, Biden fell off his bike during a weekend trip to his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Biden’s re-election bid has faced questions about whether he is fit to seek another four-year term. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 33% of adults in the U.S. think Biden is in good enough physical shape to serve effectively as president, while 64% said that about former President Donald Trump, who is 76 and also running for a second term in the White House.

The president’s physician said in February, however, that Biden remains “fit” to conduct his duties as president.

“President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” the White House physician, Dr. 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 Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.