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The oldest president in American history appears to be finding it increasingly difficult to stay upright and read his lines.
Days after regaling supporters with the exact same story twice inside the span of just a few minutes, President Joe Biden addressed the leaders of the 18-nation Pacific Islands Forum, announcing the U.S. diplomatic recognition of two additional Pacific islands nations — the Cook Islands and Niue.
When the subject of economic development came up, the 80-year-old Democrat found himself unable to both process an acronym and get his numbers straight.
"Strong growth begins with strong infrastructure, so today I'm pleased to announce we're working with Congress to invest $40 billion in our Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative. We call it the PG, PI — anyway," said Biden, surrendering his attempt to identify the letters in the acronym. "It doesn't matter what we call it, but that's what it is."
Following subdued laughter from the crowd, Biden added, "I was going to get back to acronyms, and I’m going to — I’m going to — withstand not doing that."
The White House made clear in the official transcript of the octogenarian's remarks that contrary to Biden's announcement of a $40 billion investment, the actual sum will be $40 million.
According to the White House's fact sheet, what Biden meant to announce were "plans to expand the U.S. Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative, working with Congress, to provide more than $28 million, and to request from Congress an additional $12 million, to support secure, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure in the Pacific Islands."
This error has prompted Reuters and other outlets to issue corrections.
BIDEN: "We're working with Congress to invest $40 billion in our Pacific Island's Infrastructure Initiative. We call it the P G, P I\u2014 anyway, doesn't matter what we call it, but that's what it is"— RNC Research (@RNC Research) 1695654324
Acronyms may be the least of the president's concern.
Axios reported that Biden and his campaign are working hard on a "critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn't trip."
Biden, who indicated last October that he "could drop dead tomorrow," has reportedly been working with a physical therapist to improve his balance and has been wearing tennis shoes more often to avoid taking another header.
Democrats, including a handful inside the administration, regard a Biden face-plant in the weeks before the November 2024 election as a nightmare scenario.
With a supermajority of likely voters and two-thirds of Democrats already certain that Biden is too old to seek a second term, his campaign is desperate to avoid a repeat of his June 2023 fall at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado; his February 2023 fall when climbing up the stairs to Air Force One while leaving Poland; his near-fall in May 2023 while descending stairs in Japan; his June 2022 stumble when attempting to mount stairs ahead of his interview with corporate script-reader Jimmy Kimmel; his March 2021 fall when scaling the unimpeded stairs to Air Force One; and other such incidents.
White House spokesman Andrew Base characterized Axios' report as fitting "an unfortunate pattern of media attempting to sensationalize something that has long been public, rather than covering the president's very real achievements for hardworking Americans."
The president's handlers have to worry about more than Biden's verticality.
The New York Post noted that recent gaffes have proved to be embarrassing both at home and abroad.
For instance, while at the United Nations last week, Biden appeared confused, stumbled into a Brazilian flag, then appeared to unwittingly snub Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva by forgoing a handshake.
TheBlaze previously reported that the 80-year-old president has also raised concerns after exhibiting signs of dementia — mistaking his sister for his wife; repeatedly confusing the names of disparate nations; and and relying upon cue cards for instructions on how to execute basic functions.
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.