President Joe Biden has been taking precautions to avoid falls and tripping, specifically when getting on and off Air Force One. This comes after a series of trips up the aircraft stairs and a fall during remarks at the Air Force Academy in June. Since then, Biden and his team have been more mindful of potential risks and have implemented measures to reduce the chances of another incident.
According to NBC News, Biden’s use of the shorter staircase has more than doubled since his stumble at the commencement ceremony. Prior to the incident, he used the shorter set of stairs 37% of the time, but in the past seven weeks, he has used them 84% of the time. This change has been evident in his 37 trips on and off the plane, with 31 of those instances using the shorter stairs.
When asked about the reason for the heightened use of the shorter staircase, the White House did not directly respond and instead cited factors such as weather, airport conditions, and the press’s desire for photos with greeters on the tarmac. However, it is apparent that the primary motivation behind this change is to reduce the risk of another fall or stumble, especially in front of the press.
Axios also reported that Biden has been doing physical therapy to improve his balance and avoid falls. The president has been working with a physical therapist since November 2021, and since his fall in June, he has been wearing tennis shoes more frequently to prevent slipping. In addition, he has been using the shorter stairs on Air Force One, entering the plane on a lower deck than before.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 2, 2023
These measures are a result of the president’s physician diagnosing him with “a combination of significant spinal arthritis” and “mild post-fracture foot arthritis.” With the help of his doctor, Biden has been doing “proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers” to improve his balance. While the specifics of these maneuvers are unknown, it is clear that they have been beneficial in preventing future falls.
The president’s balance difficulties have also caused frustration among senior Democrats. They have expressed disappointment with his advance team, citing the sandbag incident and mentioning that Biden often appears unsure of which direction to go after speaking at a podium. Despite their concerns, the president’s team has been proactive in addressing these issues and making necessary adjustments to mitigate any potential risks.
In the midst of all of this, the White House physician, Colonel Kevin O’Connor, has been unavailable for questioning by reporters. This lack of access has raised questions about the transparency of the president’s health and the administration’s handling of his physical conditions.
In conclusion, President Biden’s recent precautions and changes in his routine are clear indications of his determination to avoid any further falls or incidents. While his advance team may have faced criticism, they have taken it upon themselves to ensure the president’s safety and well-being. As Biden continues to undergo physical therapy and adapt his movements, the public can rest assured that he is taking all necessary measures to stay healthy and avoid any potential accidents.