Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has pledged that he will make information about his health publicly available and commit to “complete health transparency” — but only if he’s elected president.
In an interview with CNN over the weekend, Biden was asked about his overall health. He’s 78 years old — just slightly older than President Donald Trump — and a number of individuals have questioned his fitness to serve as president (though many of those critics are not among his political allies, and include the president himself).
“Biden, who will be 78 in November, would be the oldest president in U.S. history,” Axios reported Monday. “The Trump campaign has sought to cast doubt on Biden’s mental faculties and physical fitness for office — attacks that the former vice president has frequently laughed off.”
Biden told CNN host Jake Tapper that he is in good health but would be “forthcoming” if he were to encounter any major health issues while serving in office.
“Yes. When it occurs, anything occurs — anything can happen,” Biden said.
As for his health status currently, Biden directed Tapper and his viewers to consult health records published while he was Vice President under Barack Obama when a yearly, comprehensive health screening was mandatory.
“I laid out my health records in more detail, pages, and pages of it when I became vice president. Everything, my entire background relating to my health,” Biden said, without noting that those records, collected between 2008 and 2016 are now outdated.
“And thank God I am in good health,” Biden added. “But here’s the deal. Anything can happen. I’ve become a great respecter of fate, a great respecter of fate. I’ve seen too much of it in my family related to accidents alone. I guarantee you, I will be totally transparent in terms of my health and all aspects of my health.”
Biden then laid into President Donald Trump, whose health has been the subject of much speculation since late August, when the New York Times published an excerpt from reporter Michael Schmidt’s forthcoming book about the president — an excerpt that claims Trump’s unscheduled visit to Walter Reed Army Hosptial in late fall 2019, was of such a serious nature that Vice President Mike Pence was told he may have to step in to fulfill the duties of the president if Trump had to go under anesthesia for a procedure. Schmidt went on to speculate that the president might have had a stroke or a series of “mini-strokes.”
“And when it comes to Donald Trump versus me, just look at us. Who seems to be in shape? Who’s able to move around?” Biden asked.
The White House denies Schmit’s claims. Reports from the time indicated that Trump made the unscheduled visit in order to check off some aspects of his yearly, required physical off his to-do list before engaging in a grueling presidential campaign. The White House staff doctor flatly denied reports of any “mini-strokes.”
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