President-elect Joe Biden celebrates his 78th birthday today. He is projected to be the oldest president in United States history, taking the title from Ronald Reagan who was just shy of 78 when he left office. In the early stages of his term, he will be looking to prove to the American people that he still has the stamina and vigor to lead the country.
In a medical report released by the campaign in December, Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor attempted to assuage any worries the electorate may have about his health. The report stated that the then-presidential candidate was vigorous and healthy enough to execute all the duties of the office of the President of the United States.
Joe Biden’s Health History
In the same report, O’Connor stated that Biden has an irregular heartbeat but it isn’t serious enough to warrant medication. In 2003, he had his gallbladder removed.
Biden’s most serious past health issues are the two life-threatening brain aneurysms he suffered in 1988. In his memoir, the president-elect said that this experience helped to shape him into “the kind of man I want to be”.
Currently, Joe Biden stays active by working out five days a week in his home. His routine includes a Peloton bike, a treadmill, and weights.
Criticisms and Concerns About Joe Biden’s Age
Americans on both sides of the political aisle have raised concerns about Biden’s age. Throughout the campaign, President Trump highlighted Biden’s many gaffes. He wondered whether Biden was mentally sharp enough to take on the office. The president, only four years his opponent’s junior, implied that Biden’s age made him a poor option for the American people.
Joe Biden’s opponents in the Democratic Party criticized his age for other reasons. They argued that someone of his generation was not what the country currently needs. Democratic opponents during the primaries felt that a younger and more progressive candidate should be in office.
Joe Biden Selects Young Running Mate, Kamala Harris
It seems Joe Biden attempted to balance the age scale by selecting Kamala Harris as his running mate. Harris turned 56 on October 20, exactly a month before Biden’s 78th birthday. The vice president-elect is just over twenty years younger than Biden.
While Joe Biden may be the oldest President in United States history, he isn’t the first to be of advanced age. Some of those before him have set an example of how to prove physical fitness. Reagan, who was 73 upon taking office, was sure that people saw him chopping wood and riding horses. William Harrison, then 68, gave his inaugural address without a coat or hat. After contracting COVID-19, President Trump hit the campaign trail. Biden must find his own way to prove himself fit to the public.
His campaign continuously pointed out during the months leading up to the 2020 election that with advanced age comes advanced experience. Not only does he have an abundance of life experience he also has almost 50 years in politics.
Over his political career, the projected President-elect has watched 9 presidents come and go. He has also spent those years building alliances on both sides of the aisle. With a country facing the worst health crisis in a century and various other social issues, Biden will have a large duty on his hands, regardless of age.