President Joe Biden, 80, stumbles down the steps of the shrine as G7 leaders wait for him, then leaves their group dinner early. He had also tripped earlier in the day during a photo shoot.
President Joe Biden stumbled down the steps of Itsukushima Shrine on Friday as he rushed to greet Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The president was late – all the other G7 leaders had arrived on Miyajima Island and were waiting for him to begin the tour of the holy site – when he tripped and caught himself.
He and Kishida carried on as if the misstep hadn’t happened, joining the other heads of state to view the iconic “floating” torii gate. The evening on the famous island, known for its wild deer, marked the end of a long first summit day. After the visit, the world leaders – the heads of state of the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union – had a private dinner on the island.
HAPPENING NOW 🔊🔊🔊
Biden takes a trip:
80, STUMBLES while walking down steps of shrine as G7 leaders wait on him and then leave their group dinner early
President Joe Biden tripped as he walked down the stairs of the Itsukushima Shrine on Friday in his rush to greet… pic.twitter.com/Jhm6GSKDym
— SANTINO (@MichaelSCollura) May 19, 2023
But Mr Biden, 80, left dinner earlier than expected. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president is expected to receive an update from the team negotiating the debt ceiling in Washington, where we are. today in the morning.
Mr Biden, who is the oldest US president, has faced questions about his age and dismissed them, especially as he campaigns for a second term in the White House. His doctor declared him healthy and fit to serve, but he admitted the president’s gait was “stiff”. Mr. Biden has already stumbled twice while boarding Air Force One: in March 2023 and March 2021.