By India Today World Desk: US President Joe Biden tripped and fell on stage as he took part in the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs on Thursday. The video of the President’s tumble quickly went viral.
Biden, 80, had just finished handing out diplomas and began to bound off stage when he stumbled and dropped to his knees. He was quickly helped back to his feet by Secret Service agents and an Air Force officer, according to ABC News. WATCH:
He walked away unassisted once he was upright. White House communications director Ben LaBolt downplayed the incident as he took to Twitter, saying the president was uninjured and blaming the fall on an errant sandbag.
“He’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands,” said LaBolt.
He’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands. https://t.co/jP4sJiirHh
— Ben LaBolt (@WHCommsDir) June 1, 2023
Later, upon his return to the White House, Biden said, “I got sandbagged!” as reporters asked him how he was feeling. He also did “a bit of footwork” for the press to show he was fighting fit, reported ABC News.
“I got sandbagged!” âæ@POTUSâé tells reporters who asked how he was feeling after his fall this afternoon when he returned to the White House. pic.twitter.com/msyX22MPiS
— Molly Nagle (@MollyNagle3) June 1, 2023
Biden’s top opponent in the race for the Oval Office, former president Donald Trump, lost no time in making his opinion heard on the incumbent’s fall on stage. Fox News reported that Trump termed the flub as “not inspiring.”
“He actually fell down? Well, I hope he wasn’t hurt,” Trump said. “The whole thing is crazy. You’ve got to be careful about that… even if you have to tiptoe down the ramp.”
“That’s a bad place to fall… that’s not inspiring,” he added.
Biden also recently stumbled at the G7 Summit in Japan but caught himself. He had been hurrying down a small set of stairs at the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima when he fumbled his footing.
At 80, Biden is already the oldest sitting president in history and is seeking a second term. His age and fitness have been a factor in his reelection campaign. Should he win again in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of the second term.
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