Politics

Joe Biden's doctor says the 77-year-old White House hopeful is 'healthy' and 'vigorous'

Key Points
  • Joe Biden's doctor says the 77-year-old presidential candidate is "healthy" and "vigorous" and fit to serve as president.
  • His campaign releases a medical summary as voters assess a handful of septuagenarians near the top of the 2020 Democratic presidential field.
  • The campaigns of Elizabeth Warren, 70, and Michael Bloomberg, 77, have also put out medical summaries.
Joe Biden, former U.S. vice president and Democratic presidential hopeful, smiles while signing autographs at the Polk County Democrats' Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa, September 21, 2019.
Elijah Nouvelage | Reuters

Former Vice President Joe Biden has no major health problems, his doctor said in a medical summary released by his presidential campaign Tuesday, as voters assess an aging group of contenders for the Democratic nomination.

"Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency," wrote Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the director of executive medicine at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates.

O'Connor has been Biden's primary care physician since the 2020 Democratic presidential contender assumed the vice presidency in 2009. He said he prepared the health summary at Biden's request.

He currently treats Biden for four issues: non-valvular atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm), hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in blood), gastroesophageal reflux and seasonal allergies. The former vice president takes three prescription and two over-the-counter medicines for the ailments. O'Connor added that Biden does not drink alcohol or use tobacco, while he exercises at least five days a week.

Biden has no history of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, or neurological disorders, his doctor wrote. O'Connor listed two brain aneurysms found in 1988, one of which caused a hemorrhage, as Biden's most significant health issue. The Democrat has also had localized, non-melanoma skin cancer removed several times.

Biden, who has consistently led national Democratic primary polls, has faced concerns about his vitality as he angles to take on President Donald Trump. At 77, he is about four years older than the president — who himself was the oldest president ever at the time of his first inauguration.

Two of his biggest rivals for the nomination — Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are 78 and 70, respectively. Warren's campaign released a doctor's note earlier this month saying the candidate is in good health.

The Sanders campaign has said it will release medical records but has not yet shared them. The senator suffered a heart attack in October, but has since gone back on the campaign trail.

Another septuagenarian, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, seeks the nomination. Bloomberg, also 77, is in "outstanding health," his doctor wrote this month.

Trump raised eyebrows last month when he made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Medical Center. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president wanted to get parts of his annual physical done while "anticipating a very busy 2020."

At a rally in Florida last month, the president denied rumors that he had what he called a "massive, unbelievable heart attack."

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