At age 76, former Vice President Joe Biden would be the oldest president to take office if he became the Democratic nominee and won the 2020 election.
Despite his current status as the frontrunner in the race, Biden’s age has raised some questions as to whether he could be too old to be president, the subject of recent long-form pieces in The Atlantic and Politico Magazine.
A series of unfortunate missteps and gaffes over the course of his campaign have fed into the narrative that Biden could be too old to take on the full responsibilities of being president, but medical experts and a surgeon who treated him say Biden’s gaffe-prone tendency is not a reflection of his mental sharpness.
Researcher Dr. S. Jay Olshansky, who led a recent study finding that those candidates are not more likely to die in office because of their age, pointed out that due to their relative wealth and high status in society, prominent politicians are more likely to be healthier and have better access to healthcare.
“They all belong to a sub-group of the population that is privileged. And privileged sub-groups tend to live longer and better than the average,” Olshansky told Politico, categorizing them as “super-agers,” or individuals in their 70s and 80s who have the mental capabilities of people decades younger.
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