President-elect Joe Biden celebrated his 78th birthday on Friday. In January he will become the oldest United States president in history, beating Donald Trump’s record of 70 years of age when he was sworn in as president in 2016.
Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor claims that Biden is ‘healthy, vigorous.. fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander-in-Chief.’ Biden will need to be fit to handle all the critical issues that the U.S. is facing including the Coronavirus pandemic, the economic consequences of it and the division of its citizens which has resulted in ongoing and violent protests. O’Connor reported that Biden works out five days a week. Biden told supporters that during the pandemic he has worked out at home using a Peloton Bike, weights and a treadmill. In an interview with CNN in September, Biden promised to be ‘totally transparent’ in terms of his health if he was elected and also said that ‘anything can happen.’
A September article by a group of researcher in the Journal on Active Aging determined that both Donald Trump and Biden are ‘super agers’ and more likely to outlive their American contemporaries and sustain their health beyond the end of the next presidential term.
Maintaining a presidential image of being fit, healthy and strong enough to lead the country was recently personified by president Trump when he caught coronavirus and a short time later returned to a busy campaign schedule holding multiple rallies across the U.S. Other elderly presidents have also publicly displayed acts of strength and vigor to counteract any negative assumptions of them being too old or unfit for the role of president. Ronald Reagan was 69 at the time of his first inauguration and made sure that the public saw him chopping wood and riding horses. In 1841, William Harrison, 68 could have killed himself in his efforts to prove his stamina when he gave a long, inaugural speech without wearing a coat or hat on a freezing, wet winter day. Harrison definitely overcompensated in his attempts to prove he was strong by delivering a 8,445 word address that lasted for nearly two hours. His drawn out inaugural disquisition led to one of the briefest presidencies as he died of pneumonia one month later on April 4th, 1841.