Fears have again been expressed for US President Joe Biden’s health after he called out for the late Rep. Jackie Walorski while giving opening remarks at a White House conference earlier today.
Ms Walorski, a Republican from Indiana, died in a car crash in early August. She was one of four cosponsors on a bill to fund the conference on hunger, nutrition and health which took place today, and had been an advocate of reducing hunger in America.
President Biden has sparked a debate as to whether he was asking for the recently deceased Rep. today when he recognised the lawmakers who helped make today’s event a reality.
“Where’s Jackie? I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. (Jim) McGovern, Sen. (Mike) Braun, Sen. Cory (Booker), Rep. … Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? I think she was going to be here,” Biden said, believed to be referring to Walorski.
"Jackie, where's Jackie?," Joe Biden says about Rep. Jackie Walorski who died in a car accident a few months ago. pic.twitter.com/khdiesmEsx
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 28, 2022
It was also reported that a tribute video honouring the late republican was set to play during the conference.
A tribute video honoring the late Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) will play during the White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health today. She was a major advocate for the effort and among a handful of Rs who stuck behind it, even when the politics grew tough.
— Meredith Lee Hill (@meredithllee) September 28, 2022
Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy adviser, acknowledged Walorski’s death after Biden’s startling remarks. When asked for comment, the White House did not immediately respond.
In August, Biden and first lady Jill Biden issued a statement extending their condolences to Walorski’s family as they paid tribute to the politician following her passing.
“I appreciated her partnership as we plan for a historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health this fall that will be marked by her deep care for the needs of rural America,” Biden said in the statement last month.
“We send our deepest condolences to her husband, Dean, to the families of her staff members, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson, who lost their lives in public service, and to the people of Indiana’s Second District who lost a representative who was one of their own.”
The White House also flew flags at half-mast in memoriam of Walorski and her aides, aged 27 and 28, who also died in the crash.
Today’s slip-up follows months of uncertainty over whether Biden is fit to hold office, with his body language and behaviour has long triggering speculation that he may even be suffering from cognitive difficulties.
Despite passing a cognitive test at the end of his time as Vice President, his cognitive ability has been questioned. He seems to display signs of memory loss, have difficulty communicating, and sometimes seems confused.
Commenting on Biden’s remarks today, Donald Trump Jr said that the footage of Biden served as a confirmation that the president was struggling: “As if we needed further proof that Biden isn’t making decisions and has no idea what his staff is actually doing”, he said.
As if we needed further proof that Biden isn’t making decisions and has no idea what his staff is actually doing. https://t.co/DBic9AmVTa
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 28, 2022