Joe Biden appeared to suffer a mental lapse Monday while addressing the 2023 International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. His cognitive difficulties began when he went off-script to describe the emergency response to his two life-threatening brain aneurysms in February of 1988.
“My fire company at home saved my life,” Biden said. “I came back from a trip after being away for a couple of days and I had these terrible headaches, and diagnosed with having a—well anyway,” he continued, seeming to momentarily forget the name of the medical condition that almost killed him.
The IAFF audience sat in stunned silence as Biden added that doctors “had to take the top of my head off a couple times to see if I had a brain.” Chuckling, Biden then told the fire fighters “all kidding aside, what happened was, I was a snowstorm and I had a cranial aneurysm and had to be operated on immediately.”
The 80-year-old continued: “the doc who was gonna do was the best doc that was around and was down at Walter Reed because he’d operated on so many folks.” Biden explained that the Republican president [Reagan] had offered to let him ride Marine One to fly to Walter Reed, but the flight was canceled due to inclement weather. “So my fire company got me down there in the middle of a snow storm,” he said.
Joe Biden has an on-stage aneurysm while talking about his multiple aneurysms:
"I was diagnosed with having a anyway they had to take the top of my head off a couple times to see if I had a brain"
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 6, 2023
Biden’s speech came as he ramped up campaigning for the 2024 presidential election.
The IAFF, which represents more than 334,000 professional firefighters across the United States and Canada, endorsed Biden’s bid for the presidency when he was campaigning for the 2020 election.
The Democrat told another personal story involving fire fighters in an effort to butter up the audience, claiming that a minor kitchen fire in 2004 at his Delaware home resulted in him having to replace every piece of furniture.
Biden claims “every piece of furniture had to be replaced” after a fire in his home with “smoke that thick — all three stories.”
According to a 2004 AP report, it was “a small fire…contained to the kitchen” that “was under control in 20 minutes.” pic.twitter.com/kTQhgXc7Q3
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 6, 2023
Biden also referenced the fire in November of 2021, claiming during remarks in New Hampshire that his house had burned down with Jill Biden inside.
“And I know, having had a house burn down with my wife in it — she got out safely, God willing — that having a significant portion of it burn, I can tell: 10 minutes makes a hell of a difference,” Biden said at the time.
At the time of the blaze, fire officials told the Associated Press that a lightning strike had merely caused a small fire that was contained to the kitchen.
“Luckily, we got it pretty early,” Cranston Heights Fire Company Chief George Lamborn told the AP, noting there were no injuries from the fire.
Biden’s entire remarks at the IAFF event below: