Watch CBS News

Biden's physician says he remains "fit for duty" after routine physical

Biden lays groundwork for potential 2024 bid
Biden lays groundwork for potential 2024 bid 06:51

Washington — President Biden's physician said Thursday the 80-year-old remains "fit for duty," after a routine physical that yielded results largely unchanged from his last comprehensive exam in late 2021. 

The president's physician, Kevin O'Connor, did say a small lesion on the president's chest was excised Thursday during a skin exam and sent for a traditional biopsy. The results are pending. 

Mr. Biden spent roughly three hours at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Maryland on Thursday. 

"The president remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations," read a detailed letter from O'Connor to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.  

O'Connor said the president exhibited no symptoms of "long COVID" after his bout with the virus last summer. He also said the president's non-valvular atrial fibrillation, known as A-fib, remains stable, and he continues to take medication to help prevent blood clots, and for his cholesterol. O'Connor also noted that the president's stiffened gait, due to degenerative osteoarthritic changes, is stable from his prior physical. 

"The president's gait remains stiff, but has not worsened since last year," O'Connor noted. 

The president's last physical was in November 2021. At the time, O'Connor also wrote that the president was "fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency," while noting that the president was coughing with more frequency. O'Connor at the time also noted the president had more stiffness and less fluidity in his gait, which he attributed to the "wear and tear" of osteoarthritic changes to the president's spine.

The president took the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed on Thursday morning. The physical was supposed to happen by the end of last month, but Jean-Pierre said the president's changing schedule pushed back the timeline. 

Walter Reed has a presidential suite and has been used by recent presidents for both routine physicals and urgent medical situations. Then-President Donald Trump was treated at the facility in October 2020 when he had COVID-19, before vaccines were available. 

As a part of his routine physical in 2021, Mr. Biden underwent a colonoscopy, and briefly transferred presidential power to Vice President Kamala Harris. She became the first woman to temporarily serve as president. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.