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Joe Biden, the former vice president, currently is in a strong position to secure the 2020 Democrat nomination for president. Biden is seventy-six years old, and if elected he would be the oldest US president, even older than Ronald Reagan at the conclusion of The Gipper’s second term. Therefore a prospective analysis of Mr. Biden’s health prospects for the next decade is important for every potential voter.

Age: Actuarial tables predict the life expectancy of a 76 year old American male to be between ten and eleven years. Of course, many factors can influence this estimate – family history, the candidate’s personal medical history, blood pressure, weight, exercise tolerance etc. Excluding these aforementioned qualifiers, one can assume that Joe Biden would be alive at age eighty-five at the conclusion of a putative second presidential term. However, no one can predict this candidate’s mental and physical shape a decade from now.

Mental status: Biden has a significant history of verbal malapropisms and frequent factual gaffes on the campaign trail. Some may excuse this behavior, saying, “That’s just good old Joe,” but others may wonder whether his date, location and person confusion is a sign of early dementia. In 1988, the ex-vice president underwent two brain surgeries to correct cerebral artery aneurysms. An aneurysm is an out-pouching of the weakened wall of an artery. Its consequence, often fatal, is bleeding into the brain. Bleeding had occurred at the time of the first operation; the second operation was corrective to prevent an intracranial bleed. There is no connection between the two operations and any mental issues that Biden is or is not experiencing at present.

Other issues: Joe Biden has asthma, allergies, an irregular heart rhythm, and gall bladder surgery in 2003. The heart issue was diagnosed in 2008, which was the last time that this candidate released any medical information. His campaign has so far not responded to questions about his health. Perhaps this is a good time to be transparent.

Reference: Kimberly Leonard: Eleven years after he last released medical records, Biden’s health at issue as campaign stonewalls; Washington Examiner, September 6, 2019

Lud Historian
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