As President Joe Biden approaches his 81st birthday in November, Vice President Kamala Harris has publicly acknowledged the possibility that she may need to assume presidential duties. This statement comes amid ongoing concerns about Biden’s age and perceived frailty.
Harris, who is next in line for the U.S. presidency, stated that an important part of her role as Vice President is the understanding that she may have to “take over” if necessary. In her recent remarks to the Associated Press in Jakarta, India, Harris confirmed her readiness to step into the role of president should circumstances require it, raising questions about the current state of the presidency.
“Joe Biden is going to be fine, so that is not going to come to fruition,” Harris insisted. “But let us also understand that every vice president — every vice president — understands that when they take the oath they must be very clear about the responsibility they may have to take over the job of being president.” She added, “I’m no different.”
The age and health of the president have been topics of discussion since Biden took office in January 2021. At 78, he became the oldest person ever inaugurated as U.S. President, sparking debate about the impact of age on the demands of the presidency.
While these discussions continue, Vice President Harris has been asserting her readiness to fill in for Biden. Her recent statements imply a potential shift in the dynamics of the current administration, which could have far-reaching implications for U.S. politics and policy-making.
Since assuming the presidency, Biden has had several incidents of stumbling or falling, primarily while boarding Air Force One. In one notable instance, he stumbled three times while climbing the stairs to board the aircraft, an event that was widely documented and shared across media platforms. This incident added to a growing list of similar occurrences that have raised concerns about his age. It’s worth noting that in response to these incidents, Biden has been observed taking the shorter, built-in stairs leading to the belly of the plane, which are considered sturdier and pose less risk.
In addition to the Air Force One incidents, Biden has also had other instances of stumbling or falling. The president was reported to have nearly fallen while climbing the steps to board Air Force One during a visit to Poland. He also stumbled on a sandbag while handing out diplomas at a graduation ceremony in Colorado. Despite these incidents, officials have assured the public that the president is fine. However, these frequent falls continue to fuel discussions about his physical fitness for office.