Biden will undergo a routine physical examination, for the first time as president

Biden will undergo a routine physical examination, for the first time as president

Washington — President Joe Biden headed to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday for his first routine physical exam as president.

Plans for the physical examination were announced early Friday morning by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

Biden, 78, had his last full test in December 2019, when doctors found the former vice president to be “in good health, active” and “fit to successfully carry out the duties of the presidency,” according to a doctor’s report at the time.

Dr. Kevin O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary care physician since 2009, wrote in a three-page memo that the then-presidential candidate was in generally good shape.

In that report, O’Connor said that since 2003, Biden has had episodes of atrial fibrillation, a potentially dangerous but treatable type of arrhythmia. At the time, O’Connor cited a list of tests that showed Biden’s heart was working normally and that his only care he needed was blood thinners to prevent his most worrisome risk, blood clots or stroke.

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Biden was hit by the brush of death in 1988, which required surgery to repair a brain aneurysm — weak bulges in the arteries, one of which is leaking. Biden’s doctor said Biden never had it again, citing a 2014 test that checked his arteries.

When Biden took office, he sent O’Connor back to the White House to continue his work as a physician, and O’Connor was expected to lead a team of experts in doing Biden’s physical examination on Friday.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, Biden’s team took extensive steps to keep the then-nominee and incumbent president healthy as the virus spread and took a disproportionate toll on the older population. Biden received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020 and the second dose just two weeks before he took office. He received a booster dose, which regulators say provides more lasting protection, in late September.

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Biden was expected to authorize a medical report, as is customary for presidents and presidential candidates. Former President Donald Trump, 75, has come under fire for only releasing quick details about his health during his run for work and service in the White House, including concealing the severity of his COVID-19 illness a month before the 2020 presidential election.

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