President Joe Biden stumbled three times and fell on the steps of Air Force One on Friday, prompting fresh questions about his health, The Telegraph reports.
The 78-year-old – the oldest president in US history – appeared to struggle as he boarded the presidential plane.
It was not immediately clear what tripped Biden up the first time, but shortly after recovering he fell twice more before dusting himself off. Security officials, meanwhile, looked on with concern from the ground.
The president recovered to give a salute at the top of the stairs before departing to meet with Asian American community leaders in the wake of the massage parlour massacre in Atlanta, Georgia.
In November, the commander-in-chief suffered a hairline fracture in his right foot while playing with his rescue dog Major, requiring him to wear an orthopedic boot for several weeks.
Biden, who has said he uses a Peloton bike to keep fit, often makes a point of jogging in a show of his fitness.
However, questions have been raised about Mr Biden’s mental, and physical, acumen. The president on Thursday accidentally called Kamala Harris, Vice President, “President Harris”.
Throughout the election campaign he has engaged in numerous malapropisms, slurred words, mispronouncing words and misidentifying people, such as calling his wife, Jill, his sister.
A senior pro-Kremlin politician in Russia accused Biden of having dementia on Thursday, striking back after the the US president called his counterpart Vladimir Putin a “killer”.
Republican detractors have long claimed the president is suffering from senility.
“I remember the press bashing Trump for touching the rail once,” tweeted a gleeful Donald Trump Jnr, sharing the clip of the incident.
“Biden falls repeatedly but I’m sure he’s the picture of health. No wonder all our enemies are pouncing simultaneously and mocking him publicly.”
The president’s latest medical report showed no signs of any degenerative disease.
Biden survived two brain aneurysms in the late 1980s — one did not rupture. And while the condition was later complicated by subsequent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, his doctor at the time stated there was no serious threats to his health and medical conditions.
Despite this, a new poll shows the number of Americans who approve of Biden has grown steadily since he took office, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Friday, driven by concrete steps his administration has taken to address the public health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The March 17-18 national opinion poll found that 59 per cent of adults in the US approved of Biden’s overall job performance, while 35 per cent disapproved and 6 per cent said they were not sure.
The number of adults who approve of Biden is up by about 4 percentage points since a poll that ran in late January, and the increase is largely due to a rise in Mr Biden’s popularity among independents.
Biden and Harris will later meet community leaders and state lawmakers from the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community in Atlanta, Georgia, to hear concerns about the killings and discuss a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.