Biden Assures Governors of His Health Amid Concerns About His Political Viability

President Joe Biden reassured over 20 Democratic governors about his health and political viability in a private meeting on Wednesday evening. Biden disclosed he had a recent medical checkup following last week’s debate and confirmed he is in good health, according to three individuals familiar with the discussion. as reported by Politico.

During the hour-long meeting, prompted by growing concerns about his health and campaign, one governor inquired about Biden’s physical condition. Biden mentioned the recent checkup and emphasized his good health, knocking on wood for emphasis, according to two sources who wished to remain anonymous.

The White House meeting, which included nearly a dozen governors in person and others virtually, occurred shortly after press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre avoided direct questions about whether Biden had been examined since the debate. Jean-Pierre reiterated that the president undergoes regular annual physicals, the results of which are publicly disclosed.

A person familiar with Biden’s schedule clarified that the checkup was a brief examination by a White House physician following the debate due to lingering cold symptoms and did not involve major tests.

Two Democratic governors, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico and Janet Mills of Maine, expressed concerns about Biden’s competitiveness in their states, which lean Democratic but are seen as competitive. In 2020, Biden won New Mexico by 11 points and Maine by 9 points.

The meeting was part mea culpa, part brainstorming session, and part pep rally as Biden sought to bolster his candidacy. Earlier in the day, he joined a Zoom call with campaign and Democratic National Committee staff, asserting that “no one’s pushing me out.” He also made calls to senior congressional leaders and adjusted his holiday weekend schedule to include travel to swing states and an interview with ABC News.

Following the meeting, Governors Tim Walz of Minnesota, Wes Moore of Maryland, and Kathy Hochul of New York expressed their continued support for Biden. Hochul noted that all the governors pledged their support, emphasizing the high stakes of the upcoming election.

Walz, who chairs the Democratic Governors Association and initiated the meeting, said, “What we saw in there today was a guy who was the guy that all of us believed in the first time to beat Donald Trump. And he did beat Donald Trump.”

Despite this show of support, at least two staffers privately voiced concerns about Biden’s uncertain path forward. One staffer noted, “They got through today, but it’s still very unclear where this goes.”

Biden reiterated his commitment to staying in the race and took responsibility for his debate performance, acknowledging he should have heeded advice to slow down his schedule beforehand. He expressed a desire to travel more, engage with voters in unscripted events, and improve campaign messaging by focusing on voter concerns rather than statistics.

A fourth source familiar with the meeting said governors encouraged Biden to prioritize economic issues over foreign policy and hold more listening sessions in the coming weeks and months.