President Joe Biden “remains a healthy, vigorous, 78-year old” and is “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency,” according to a physician’s report issued Friday.
Biden took a trip to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday morning for his “routine annual physical,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said early Friday. The president’s physical included a colonoscopy, and there was a brief transfer of power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he was under anesthesia.
Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor, physician to the president, issued the summary. The physical included “specialty consultation” with several Presidential Specialty Consultants at the medical center, O’Connor wrote in the summary.
.@POTUS spoke with @VP and @WHCOS at approximately 11:35am this morning. @POTUS was in good spirits and at that time resumed his duties. He will remain at Walter Reed as he completes the rest of his routine physical.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) November 19, 2021
O’Connor highlighted two “observations” that Biden “affirmed.” The first is Biden’s tendency of “‘throat clearing’” and coughing during speaking engagements. Psaki has been asked about what appears to be a persistent cough in the past and concerns have been waved away. (RELATED: Jake Tapper Has To Show Biden How To Properly Cough During Awkward CNN Interview)
“He has exhibited such symptoms for as long as I have known him, but they certainly seem to be more frequent and more pronounced over the last few months,” according to O’Connor. “It is acknowledged that this perception may be artificially confounded by the undeniable fact that, as President, a much greater attention is directed toward his public engagements as compared to that which he experienced in previous conditions.”
“Nevertheless, this symptom is clearly present, and warranted detailed investigation,” the statement continued.
The second observation was about Biden’s gait, which the doctor described as being “noticeably stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago.”
The summary noted that Biden “works out at least five days per week” and put him at 184 pounds. Biden suffers from “a-fib with normal ventricular response, hyperlipidemia, gastroesophageal reflux, seasonal allergies, spinal arthritis and mild sensory peripheral neuropathy of both feet,” according to the summary.
He takes three prescription medications and two over-the-counter medications for his “medical considerations.”
Biden’s physical comes amid lackluster approval ratings. One Tipp Insights poll, released November 1, found that 50.2% of respondents disagreed with the statement that the president “is mentally sharp.” A Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday also found that 50% of respondents believe Biden is not “stable” and not “in good health.”