US President Joe Biden, 80, is "doing well" according to the White House, after a fall during a military ceremony Thursday in Colorado Springs, in the west of the United States.

The Democrat, who had just handed out diplomas to students at the Colorado Air Force Academy, fell forward, receiving himself on his knees and hands, after apparently tripping over a black bag. "He's fine. There was a sandbag on the stage as he shook hands," his communications director, Ben LaBolt, said on Twitter.

Joe Biden, whose age and fitness are a constant subject of attack by some of his political opponents, then got up with the help of a soldier at his side and his bodyguards. He was seen pointing to this sandbag, obviously used to ballast a device on the scene, as if to explain the reason for his fall.

The president, candidate in the 2024 election against Republican Donald Trump, attended the end of the ceremony, not seeming affected by the fall. He then flew back to Washington, D.C., and climbed the stairs to board without stopping to answer reporters on site.

Back at the White House, the president, smiling, launched from afar a joke, difficult to translate into French, to the press. "I was knocked out," he said. In English, "I got sandbagged", an expression referring in English to a sandbag.

"No need to panic"

In June 2022, an image of the Democrat falling during a bike ride had already caused quite a stir. Again, Joe Biden had recovered and had not suffered any particular physical consequences.

The Democrat's most recent check, in February, determined he was in good health. But according to polls, the majority of Americans believe he is too old to run for a second term.

His followers rushed to his defense on Twitter. The president "stood on the stage shaking hands with graduates for two hours," tweeted his former chief of staff Ron Klain, "no need to panic."

"I, for example, have never, but never stumbled over anything, not once," said his former communications director, Kate Bedingfield.

With AFP

The summary of the week France 24 invites you to look back on the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news with you everywhere! Download the France 24 app