President Joe Biden experienced a fall on stage while attending the United States Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.
The incident occurred as the 80-year-old commander-in-chief was handing out diplomas following his commencement address. Video footage captures the moment President Biden shakes hands with a graduate, turns to his left for a brief step, and then tumbles forward.
Several uniformed attendees rush to assist the fallen president, helping him regain his footing. The President then turned and pointed to the stage, indicating that he had tripped over something. While it can’t be seen in the video clip, those in attendance say that small sandbag on stage caused the fall.
President Biden makes his way to his seat, seemingly shaken up by the incident.
A White House aide reported that the President is fine and that a sandbag on stage was to blame for the fall.
He’s fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands. https://t.co/jP4sJiirHh
— Ben LaBolt (@WHCommsDir) June 1, 2023
The incident has gained traction on social media, with many noting that this is not the first time President Biden has fallen in public. Notably, he previously fell while ascending the stairs of Air Force One in 2021 and a video of him struggling to put on his coat became viral in 2022.
President Biden’s falls have elicited concern from some who think he is unfit to fulfill his role as President, including former Alaska governor Sarah Palin who called it “elder abuse.”
“I consider it elder abuse”@SarahPalinUSA reacts to Joe Biden’s fall at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation.
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) June 1, 2023
But, others say that the concerns are unwarranted.
Reminding y’all that Biden, 80, stood for about TWO HOURS, congratulated 1k graduates and fell ONLY because someone didn’t do their job properly and put a sandbag right in his path, propping up the teleprompter. It WASN’T there earlier. #BidenFall pic.twitter.com/kzmAyQ4s0r
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) June 2, 2023
— JBDallas (@JBDal) June 2, 2023