President Joe Biden was headed to Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre for his first routine physical exam as president.
lans for the exam were announced early on Friday morning by White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Mr Biden, 78, had his last full exam in December 2019, when doctors found the former vice president to be “healthy, vigorous” and “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency”, according to a doctor’s report at the time.
Dr Kevin O’Connor, who has been Mr Biden’s primary care physician since 2009, wrote in a three-page note that the then-presidential candidate was in overall good shape.
This morning, the President will travel to Walter Reed Medical Center for a routine physical.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) November 19, 2021
In that report, Dr O’Connor said that since 2003, Mr Biden has had episodes of atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat that’s potentially serious but treatable.
At the time, Dr O’Connor cited a list of tests that showed Mr Biden’s heart was functioning normally and his only needed care was a blood thinner to prevent the most worrisome risk, blood clots or stroke.
Mr Biden had a brush with death in 1988, requiring surgery to repair two brain aneurysms, weak bulges in arteries, one of them leaking.
Mr Biden has never had a recurrence, his doctor said, citing a test in 2014 that examined his arteries.
When Mr Biden took office he brought Dr O’Connor back to the White House to continue serving as his doctor, and Dr O’Connor was expected to lead a team of experts in conducting Mr Biden’s physical exam Friday.
Once the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, Mr Biden’s team took intense steps to keep the then-candidate and now-president healthy as the virus raged and took a disproportionate toll among older populations.
Mr Biden received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccines in December 2020 and his second dose just two weeks before taking office.
He received a booster dose, which regulators say provides more enduring protection, in late September.
Mr Biden was expected to authorise the release of a medical report, as is customary for presidents and presidential candidates.