'I almost fell asleep': Biden's debate fatigue sparks fresh concerns over president's fitness

The White House is downplaying exhaustion claims as scrutiny intensifies following President Joe Biden's poor performance during last week's debate against Donald Trump.

'I almost fell asleep': Biden's debate fatigue sparks fresh concerns over president's fitness
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
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President Joe Biden's recent admission of nearly falling asleep during a debate with former President Donald Trump has reignited discussions about his fitness for office. The revelation, made at a private fundraiser where Biden spoke for just six minutes, comes as his administration attempts to project an image of vitality amid calls for him to step aside as the Democratic nominee.

According to the White House press pool, Biden attributed his debate weariness to extensive international travel, saying, "I decided to travel around the world a couple of times ... shortly before the debate ... I didn't listen to my staff ... and then I almost fell asleep on stage." However, reports indicate that Biden had been back in the United States for nearly two weeks prior to the debate, including a week at Camp David with a light schedule and late starts.

The President reportedly apologized for his debate performance while maintaining its importance, describing his explanation as "not an excuse but an explanation."

These revelations come amid growing concerns about Biden's cognitive health. The New York Times has reported those close to the President have observed increasing instances of confusion and difficulty following conversations. Recent public appearances in Europe, including at the D-Day anniversary in France and the G7 Summit in Italy, have resulted in viral moments that have fueled further speculation.

Adding to the controversy, the White House has declined to allow Dr. Kevin C. O'Connor, the White House physician, to field media questions about Biden's condition. The administration has also refuted suggestions that the President requires evaluation for Parkinson's disease or is taking related medications.

As questions mount, reports suggest that Biden's inner circle is tightening control over his public appearances.

In an unexpected development, NBC News reported that Hunter Biden, the President's son who has faced legal troubles, is now attending official White House meetings, a move that has reportedly surprised many within the administration.

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  • By David Menzies

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