joe biden, us president

Joe Biden’s ‘grew up with cancer’ comment triggers speculation, White House clarifies

World News

US President Joe Biden’s recent remarks on cancer set off a string of speculation on his medical status.

Announcing a slew of steps to counter the climate crisis at an event in Somerset, Massachusetts on Wednesday, the 79-year-old US President said he “grew up with cancer”, reported the US-based New York Post.

However, the White House clarified later that Biden was referring to his history of “non-melanoma” skin cancer before assuming power last year.

While speaking on the issue, Biden recounted a childhood anecdote of his mother driving him to school and his first encounter with the side effects of emissions from oil refineries near his home in Claymont, Delaware.

“… Because it was a four-lane highway that was accessible, my mother drove us rather than us be able to walk,” he said.

“And guess what? The first frost, you know what was happening? You had to put on your windshield wipers to get literally the oil slick off the window. That’s why I and so damn many other people I grew up with have cancer, and why, for the longest time, Delaware had the highest cancer rate in the nation,” added Biden.

The remark drew the attention of conservative websites like Townhall which claimed that Biden had made a similar statement about having asthma in April.

Biden’s physician, Dr Kevin O’Connor had mentioned his history of “non-melanoma” skin cancer in a health report last year. “He has had several localised, non-melanoma skin cancers removed with Mohs surgery before he started his presidency. These lesions were completely excised, with clear margins,” the doctor said in the report.

He added that there are no areas suspicious of skin cancer at this time.

The cancer slip-up is the latest in a series of gaffes made by the US President.

Last April, Biden referred to the former first lady Michelle Obama as the former vice-president.

“… I’m deeply proud of the work she [Jill Biden] is doing as First Lady with Joining Forces initiative she started with Michelle Obama when she was Vice President and now carries on,” he said.

The White House quickly stepped in and posted a transcript of the speech, correcting his “she” reference as “I” such that the transcript read: “And I’m deeply proud of the work she is doing as First Lady with Joining Forces initiative she started with Michelle Obama when she [I] was Vice President and now carries on.”

In another incident, Biden, while speaking to the press about protecting women’s abortion rights following the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court verdict, erred by accidentally saying “end of quote, repeat the line” as he finished a sentence.

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