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Biden ‘Fit for Duty’ After Medical, Says Doctor 


President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House on February 23, 2024. Evan Vucci/AP

Joe Biden’s doctor says he is “fit for duty” and “no new concerns” have been identified after the US president’s annual medical examination.

Mr Biden, whose health has been under scrutiny ahead of November’s presidential election, underwent the assessment on Wednesday.

White House physician Dr Kevin O’Connor said that Mr Biden “fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations”.

“Everything’s great,” Mr Biden said.

The 81-year-old president received the physical at a military hospital in Maryland and declared himself “squared away” after the appointment.

He said the results were “nothing different than last year” and quipped that the doctors “think I look too young”.

Mr Biden whose last physical was February 2023 is “healthy” and “vigorous” and “continues to work out at least five days per week”, according to his doctor.In a memo, Dr O’Connor noted the president continued to be treated for atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) which he takes a blood thinner for, as well as gastroesophageal reflux and hyperlipidemia. Gastroesophageal reflux causes Mr Biden to have to clear his throat frequently.

Mr Biden last summer began using a continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, machine at night to tackle sleep apnea, the report noted. The physician also found that the president suffers from a stiffened gait but it did not worsen from his last examination, besides “possibly tighter hamstrings and calves”. An “extremely detailed neurologic exam” found no evidence of a stroke or Parkinson’s. Mr Biden also underwent a routine skin cancer surveillance. The president “had several localised, non-melanoma skin cancers removed” before the start of his term in office, the memo added.

The president’s health was thrust further into the spotlight earlier this month after a special counsel investigating Mr Biden for improperly storing classified documents suggested he was suffering from mental decline due to his age.

The 345-page report described him as “a sympathetic, well meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”.

“My memory is fine,” Biden said in response. “I am well-meaning. And am elderly. I know what the hell I’m doing. I put this country back on its feet.”

Opinion polls indicate the president’s age is a concern for US voters ahead of November’s White House election.

By BBC News

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