Joe Biden completes 'great' physical health examination

US President does not receive cognitive test as part of annual check-up amid concerns about fitness to serve

US President Joe Biden arrives at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland, on February 28. Bloomberg
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US President Joe Biden said his health was "great" after receiving an annual physical examination on Wednesday.

He did not undergo cognitive testing because the White House said the 81-year-old "doesn't need" one.

“There is nothing different than last year,” Mr Biden told reporters after the exam. “Everything is great.”

Doctors declared him healthy and “fit for duty” in last year's physical exam, which included removing a lesion from his chest and declaring him free of symptoms of long Covid after his bout with the virus in 2022.

The White House said it would publicly release a written summary of the President’s exam.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the review was conducted by a team of about 20 doctors at Walter Reed military hospital in Maryland.

Mr Biden, a Democrat, and former Republican president Donald Trump, 77, are preparing to face off in a probable rematch in the November 5 presidential election.

The two elderly candidates have accused each other of mental decline.

Mr Trump's last rival for the Republican nomination, Nikki Haley, 52, has said both men are too old to occupy the White House and should be subjected to cognitive tests.

Are Biden or Trump ready for a new term given their age

Are Biden or Trump ready for a new term given their age

Ms Jean-Pierre saaid the President did not have a cognitive test.

“The President doesn't need a cognitive test,” she said. “That is the assessment of the President's doctor.”

Ms Jean-Pierre said Mr Biden “passes a cognitive test everyday” while serving in the Oval Office.

Mr Biden likes to play golf and ride his bike in his downtime, but his verbal and physical stumbles have raised concerns about his age and ability to carry out the demands of being commander-in-chief.

He was pressed on those concerns when a special counsel investigating his handling of classified documents said his memory was one of the reasons why the Justice Department should not bring charges against him.

The President then held a rare news conference to answer questions and try to ease concerns over his memory – except he confused Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's country with Mexico in the same evening.

Asked on Wednesday if there was anything Americans should be worried about, Mr Biden made a joke about his age.

“Well, they think I look too young,” he said.

Updated: February 28, 2024, 10:12 PM