In July, President Joe Biden made a subtle yet significant change to his routine when boarding and disembarking from Air Force One. He began using a shorter staircase located at the back of the plane, a move that has garnered attention and speculation. This change, while seemingly inconspicuous, has sparked discussions about Biden’s health and the measures taken to minimize the risk of a potentially viral fall. Town Hall originally reported on this development, and we delve deeper into the story to provide a comprehensive view.
According to an analysis conducted by NBC News, President Biden’s use of the shorter staircase has increased significantly since an incident earlier this year. In the weeks leading up to a notable tumble at a commencement ceremony, Biden opted for the shorter set of stairs 37% of the time. However, in the seven weeks following the incident, he has consistently chosen the shorter stairs, using them a staggering 84% of the time out of 37 instances.
The White House has been tight-lipped about whether the decision to use the shorter staircase is driven by concerns about Biden’s health and the desire to avoid embarrassing falls. When questioned about the rationale behind this choice, a White House aide attributed it to various factors such as weather conditions, airport logistics, and whether the press intends to capture photos of the President with official greeters. It’s worth noting that on a recent occasion when President Biden opted for the shorter staircase at Joint Base Andrews, there was no precipitation to contend with.
This adjustment in boarding procedures comes on the heels of several incidents where President Biden encountered difficulty ascending or descending Air Force One’s stairs, most notably a serious fall during remarks at the Air Force Academy in June. At the time, staff attributed the mishap to a sandbag and poor advance work. It is apparent that these incidents have prompted the President and his team to take preventive measures seriously.
President Biden took a fall onstage after handing out diplomas to U.S. Air Force Academy graduates. >>> https://t.co/LIJUoyLkyF#presidentbiden #biden #president #military #airforce #graduation #fall #airforceacademy #afacademy pic.twitter.com/YYBcQW93IJ— WDTV 5 News (@WDTV5News) June 1, 2023
In a recent report by Axios, it was revealed that President Biden has been undergoing physical therapy to address balance issues and reduce the risk of future falls. This effort has been ongoing since November 2021, well before the June incident. Part of this therapy includes exercises aimed at enhancing his balance. In addition to these exercises, Biden has taken to wearing tennis shoes more frequently to prevent slipping and has consistently chosen the shorter stairs when boarding Air Force One, entering the plane on a lower deck than previously.
The President’s balance difficulties have been attributed to a combination of “significant spinal arthritis” and “mild post-fracture foot arthritis,” as diagnosed by his physician. To counter these issues, Biden’s doctor has recommended a series of exercises referred to as “proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.” The exact nature of these maneuvers remains undisclosed, leaving room for speculation about their intensity and effectiveness.
Behind the scenes, some senior Democrats have expressed private frustrations with Biden’s advance team, particularly in light of the sandbag incident and the perception that the President occasionally appears disoriented after speaking at a podium. These concerns underscore the delicate balance between transparency and maintaining the President’s image.
Throughout these developments, White House Physician Colonel Kevin O’Connor has remained largely inaccessible to reporters, raising questions about the level of information being shared regarding President Biden’s health and the precautions being taken to ensure his safety.
In conclusion, President Biden’s decision to frequently use the shorter staircase when boarding Air Force One has raised questions about his health and the measures being taken to prevent potential falls. With a diagnosis of spinal and foot arthritis, along with ongoing physical therapy and balance exercises, the President is proactively addressing these concerns. However, the level of transparency surrounding his health and the extent of preventive measures taken remain subjects of debate and scrutiny in the public eye.
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