President Joe Biden remains “healthy” and “vigorous,” the presidential physician said in a report on Friday.
“The president remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations,” Kevin O’Connor, the physician, wrote in a 6-page report.
Biden traveled to Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland to undergo a physical and colonoscopy.
“I feel great. Nothing’s changed,” the president told reporters after he emerged.
The first term Democrat, who turned 79 on Nov. 20, transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris for 85 minutes because he was under anesthesia. Harris became the first woman to hold presidential powers. A similar transfer was done by President George W. Bush in 2002 and 2007.
A polyp was found during the colonoscopy, O’Connor said, and a histologic evaluation will be completed soon. Biden has never had colon cancer.
The last exam made public, also done by O’Connor, was done in 2019. Between now and then, two new conditions were found. One was described as a “stiffened gait.”
Biden told his doctor that he suffers from “early morning stiffness” that “improves throughout the day,” O’Connor wrote. A team of specialists who assessed the condition determined it stemmed from degenerative changes of Biden’s spine.
A neurologic exam showed no indication of a neurological disorder like a stroke.
Biden will undergo physical therapy in an attempt to address the issue.
The other new finding was mild nerve damage of Biden’s feet. The cause of the problem has not been identified, though O’Connor ruled out diabetes, alcoholism, vitamin B12 deficiency, and thyroid disease.
An attempt to find the cause of Biden’s increasing frequency of throat clearing and coughing determined it is likely due to stomach acid. Biden has gastroesophageal reflux. That condition is stable, as is his heartbeat—it was once irregular—and his high cholesterol is being treated with Crestor.
Biden also takes over-the-counter medications for seasonal allergies.
O’Connor used the same two words as he did in 2019, healthy and vigorous, in a summary of Biden’s fitness. Overall, he said, the findings were “fundamentally unchanged from baseline.” Biden was listed as standing 5’11”, weighing 184 pounds, and having a body mass index of 25.
Neither the doctor nor the White House mentioned any cognitive testing.
Biden is America’s oldest president.
Some lawmakers have expressed concern over his acuity, and polls suggest about half of Americans believe he’s not in good health and not mentally fit.
“We’re in great shape, and I’m looking forward to celebrating my 58th birthday,” Biden told reporters.