President Joe Biden took a tumble while walking up the stairs to board Air Force One, but recovered gracefully with a salute.
President Joe Biden unfortunately tripped while climbing the steep stairs to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. The president got himself back up, only to stumble two more times before sliding down several steps and falling to his knees. Biden, 78, was able to regain his balance and recover gracefully, stopping at the top of the staircase to give a quick salute before entering the idling aircraft.
President Joe Biden trips climbing the stairs to Air Force 1 pic.twitter.com/x8UD7q0a48
— The Hill (@thehill) March 19, 2021
Biden was on his way to Atlanta with Vice President Kamala Harris to address the city’s Asian community following the shooting at three area spas that left eight dead, including six Asian women. Suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of aggravated assault, and is being held without bond. The murders come amid a rise of violent hate crimes against Asian-Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China. As the investigation continues neither Georgia nor the federal Department of Justice have disclosed whether they will pursue hate crime charges against Long, who claims that he shot the women because he wanted to “eliminate” the “temptation” due to his sex addiction. Regardless, police departments across the US have stepped up protections for the Asian-American communities.
Days before the March 16 shooting, Biden condemned anti-Asian hate during his first televised address as president — “vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who’ve been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated.” He went on to say that, “At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they’re on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still, still, they’re forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop.”
In Atlanta, Biden is also scheduled to meet with Stacey Abrams to praise her tireless work to protect voting rights. Abrams “played a leading role in voting access and voter protection and she will be an important partner in taking action on this important issue moving forward,” an administration official told CNN. “The President will be active on voting rights issues, not just in Washington, but also in the states, and this is an example of him doing just that.”