Biden Has Started Using the Short Stairs on Air Force One To Avoid Falls

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July 20, 2023

President Joe Biden has been using a shorter set of stairs when deplaning and boarding Air Force One after a series of stumbles by the 80-year-old commander in chief, Politico reported.

While presidents have traditionally used a taller set of 26-step stairs to get on and off the aircraft, concerns about Biden's health appear to have pushed the president to use a shorter, 14-step staircase that unfolds from the belly of the plane. Although the shorter steps are usually reserved for inclement weather and other rare cases, Biden used the steps in fair weather at every stop on his recent European tour and many domestic trips when boarding Air Force One, according to Politico.

Biden's hard fall at the Air Force Academy graduation last month and his stumbles on stairs have raised concerns about his age and physical health as he pursues a second term in office.

Biden stumbled slightly while boarding the plane in Helsinki last week, just a few days after a "watch your step sign" was spotted on the steps.

The president has also frequently been spotted wearing sneakers rather than dress shoes, a style change Politico called "another concession to comfort necessitated by age."

An NBC News poll from last month found 68 percent of voters are concerned about Biden having the "necessary mental and physical health to be president." Fifty-five percent said they have major concerns.

Biden launched his reelection bid in April, as voters gave him a record-low 37 percent approval rating. The president would be 86 at the end of a potential second term.

Published under: Joe Biden