The White House, and Florida governor, Ron Desantis have reacted after US President Joe Biden tripped and fell over at an event in Colorado, USA.
Biden stumbled on a sandbag while handing out diplomas at a graduation ceremony for the US Air Force Academy.
Biden, who is the nation’s oldest serving president at 80, was helped back onto his feet by the Secret Service and appeared to be unhurt after Thursday’s fall.
“I got sandbagged!” the president joked to reporters as he arrived back at the White House that evening.
Before the fall, Biden had been standing for about an hour and a half to shake hands with each of the 921 graduating cadets.
After the fall he was seen walking back to his seat unassisted and later jogging back to his motorcade when the ceremony ended.
“There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt wrote on Twitter. “He’s fine.”
He is fine – White House, Gov. Desantis react to president Joe Biden
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden had boarded the plane flashing “a big smile”, although one reporter noted that he did not take questions before the flight.
Critics of Biden’s administration say he is too old to run for a second term as president with new polls suggesting a majority of US voters are concerned about his advanced age. He would be 82 at the start of a second term if he wins.
This fall, in addition to previous stumbles from his bicycle and on the way up the Air Force One plane stairs, could add to those concerns.
Former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner to face Biden in the 2024 White House election, reacted to the incident from a campaign event in Iowa, saying “the whole thing is crazy”.
“I hope he wasn’t hurt,” said Trump, 76, who has often poked fun at Mr Biden’s age. “That’s not inspiring.”
“You got to be careful about that because you don’t – you don’t want that. Even if you have to tip toe down the ramp,” added Mr Trump, apparently referring to his own careful walk off a stage that made headlines in 2020.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another 2024 contender for the Republican nomination, also reacted to the fall during a campaign event in New Hampshire: “We hope and wish Joe Biden a swift recovery from any injuries he may have sustained.
“But we also wish the United States of America a swift recovery from the injuries it has sustained because of Joe Biden and his policies.