US President Joe Biden stumbled on Friday climbing the stairs to board Air Force One for a flight to Atlanta.
Biden took a jaunty 10 steps up the stairs before tripping, catching himself, taking a couple more steps and then tripping twice more.
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The president briefly gathered himself, smoothed his left pant leg over his knee and carried on deliberately to the top of the steps. He turned smartly and gave a quick salute to Air Force personnel on the runway.
President Joe Biden trips climbing the stairs to Air Force 1 pic.twitter.com/x8UD7q0a48
— The Hill (@thehill) March 19, 2021
“It’s very windy outside,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters travelling with Biden when asked about the president’s stumble.
“He is doing 100 percent fine. He’s doing great,” she said.
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. Nothing more than a misstep on the stairs.
— Kate Bedingfield (@WHCommsDir) March 19, 2021
At age 78, Biden is the oldest person to become president. In November, he suffered a hairline fracture of his right foot while playing with one of his dogs.
Biden is not the first US president to get caught on camera stumbling as their moves are widely covered and each trip-up is under a microscope.
Former President Gerald Ford slipped and fell down the steps exiting Air Force One when arriving in Austria in 1975. It was raining and the steps were wet. Ford blamed it on his bum knee.
“I’m sorry that I tumbled in,” Ford said in remarks upon his arrival.
38th President of the United States of America, President Ford pic.twitter.com/zwEXAO9oBn
— Lunathi Kilani 🇿🇦🌈 (@lunietoolz) March 19, 2021
Ford’s fall became a running gag on the then-brand new Saturday Night Live television show and actor Chevy Chase’s weekly lampooning of Ford’s stumble helped propel Chase to stardom.
Former President Donald Trump last year drew speculation about his health when he awkwardly brought a glass of water to his lips and stumbled walking down a ramp after giving remarks at the US Military Academy at West Point.
Trump said the ramp was slippery and dismissed concerns about his health.
“The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly was very slippery. The last think I was going to do is ‘fall’ for the Fake News to have fun with,” Trump had tweeted.
Trump also drew mockery in 2018 when he boarded Air Force One with what looked like toilet paper stuck to the sole of his left shoe.
Biden is visiting with Asian American community leaders in Atlanta following the shootings at massage spas that killed eight people earlier this week. He is scheduled to give remarks at Emory University on Friday afternoon.