US President Joe Biden has tripped and fallen while handing out diplomas at a graduation ceremony for the US Air Force Academy in Colorado creating some fears about his ability to function as President, given his age and health.
Biden, 80, tripped and fell to the ground as he turned to his left to shake an officer’s hand following his speech. He remained down for several seconds before an air force officer and two Secret Service agents helped him back to his feet.
As he got back on his feet, Biden pointed to the place on stage where he lost his balance. “He’s fine,” Ben LaBolt, the White House communications director said later. “There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands.”
Biden walked back to his seat unaided after pointing to an item on the stage. Two small black sandbags were on stage supporting the teleprompter used by Biden and other speakers.
Mr Biden, who is the nation’s oldest serving president at 80, was helped back up to his feet and appeared to be unhurt. The president had been standing for about an hour and a half to shake hands with each of the 921 graduating cadets.
“I got sandbagged,” the smiling president joked to reporters as he arrived back at the White House that evening.A White House press pool report earlier said Mr Biden had tripped on a black sandbag while moving on stage.
He was seen walking back to his seat unassisted and later jogging back to his motorcade when the ceremony ended shortly after the accident.