Biden Walks With Aides To Hide 'Halting and Stiff Gait': Report

(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
April 26, 2024

President Joe Biden is now having aides walk with him across the South Lawn in an effort to minimize public focus on his "halting and stiff gait," according to a Friday report.

"With aides walking between Biden and journalists' camera position outside the White House, the visual effect is to draw less attention to the 81-year-old's halting and stiff gait," Axios noted in the report.

For more than three years, Biden has mostly walked alone across the South Lawn to get to the presidential helicopter, Marine One, when departing from and returning to the White House. Beginning in mid-April, however, the president was accompanied by staffers or lawmakers 9 out of 10 times he walked to and from the helicopter, obscuring him from camera view.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates downplayed the change, saying that Biden has been "fully visible except for a few seconds" during his recent walks.

But even some of Biden's advisers have raised concerns about videos that show the president's awkward walking style, according to the report. The videos may accentuate public perceptions about Biden being too old to serve four more years as president, unnamed advisers suggested to Axios.

Biden's doctor in late February released a report that attributed the president's stiff gait and occasional halting to "significant spinal arthritis, mild post-fracture foot arthritis and a mild sensory peripheral neuropathy of the feet."

A New York Times/Siena College poll in March found that 73 percent of registered voters say that Biden is "too old to be an effective president," with only 42 percent of respondents saying the same about presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Published under: Joe Biden , White House