Inside the plan to stop Biden falling over before election


Steps being taken by his team to prevent a repeat include enlisting the help of a physical therapist, Axios reported.

Biden, who is the oldest president in US history, has been doing exercises since November 2021 to help improve his balance after he was diagnosed with “a combination of significant spinal arthritis” and “mild post-fracture foot arthritis” by his doctor.

Biden spends several mornings with physical therapist Drew Contreras, who also worked with former president Barack Obama.

His doctor has also recommended exercises for balance called “proprioceptive maintenance manoeuvres”.

The Democrat leader has also been wearing tennis shoes to avoid slipping, as well as using the short staircase on Air Force One instead of the sometimes-wobbly 18ft staircase to the plane’s upper door.

The Axios report came after the White House was forced to correct Biden’s transcript when he confused “million” for “billion” and stumbled over a four letter acronym on Monday night.

Biden announced the government was investing $US40 billion ($62 billion) in the Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative – instead of $US40 million, according to the official transcript.


He then appeared to struggle to pronounce the acronym PIII, saying: “We call it the PG… PI… anyway, it doesn’t matter what we call it, but that’s what it is. I was going to get back to acronyms, and I’m going to … I’m going to … withstand not doing that.”

A poll published by the Wall Street Journal earlier this month found 73 per cent of Americans, including two-thirds of Democrats, think Biden is too old to run again in next November’s presidential election.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Axios that the president’s physical therapy sessions are not “new” and were “proactively and transparently disclosed in a 2021 report from the president’s doctor and again this year”.

“This article fits an unfortunate pattern of media attempting to sensationalise something that has long been public, rather than covering the president’s very real achievements for hardworking Americans,” Bates added.

Biden’s appearance on the picket line on Tuesday came a day before Trump, the 77-year-old Republican front-runner for president, will speak to auto workers in Michigan.

The rare back-to-back events highlight the importance of union support in the 2024 presidential election, even though their members represent a tiny fraction of US workers.

The UAW strike is directed at three Detroit-based manufacturers: Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep and Peugeot. The union is demanding a 40 per cent pay rise for its members in the next four years.

Biden has long framed himself as the most pro-union president in American history.


Dressed in a baseball cap and sweater, he told workers in Detroit: “Unions built the middle class. It’s a fact – so let’s keep going.”

Erik Loomis, a professor at the University of Rhode Island and an expert on US labour history, said the event was “absolutely unprecedented”.

He added: “No president has ever walked a picket line before,” because they historically “saw themselves more as mediators”.

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