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1 Mar, 2023 19:44

Biden recounts creepy hospital story

The US president tried to credit a nurse for saving his life, but made some Americans cringe instead
Biden recounts creepy hospital story

US President Joe Biden has raised eyebrows again, this time with a rambling account of rather unusual “care” he had received, courtesy of a military nurse. In his speech about healthcare in Virginia Beach on Tuesday, the 80-year-old Democrat told a story of the time he was recovering from brain surgery.

“I had a nurse named Pearl Nelson, military,” Biden said. “She'd come in and do things I don't think you learn in medical school… nursing school. She’d whisper in my ear. I didn’t, I couldn’t understand, but she’d whisper and she’d lean down. She’d actually breathe on me to make sure that I would… that there was a connection, a human connection.”

Nelson even brought him “her pillow from her own bed” because the one he had was not comfortable, Biden added.

The story was a reference to Biden’s months-long stay at the Walter Reed military hospital in 1988, after he had two brain aneurysms and required multiple surgeries. His wife Jill would not allow any visitors as he recovered.

He had previously told the story in July 2020, during the presidential election campaign, on a Zoom call from his Delaware basement. That time he did not mention Nelson by name, but was more specific about the breathing part.

“They would actually breathe in my nostrils to make me move, to get me moving,” he said, according to a video shared online.

The story made some of Biden’s Republican critics argue that the octogenarian had lost his mind and that the cabinet needed to invoke the 25th Amendment,” a succession protocol for when the president is incapacitated.

One conservative podcaster, Mike Crispi, called it “very impressive” that Biden “managed to top his ‘I may be a white boy but I’m not stupid’ line” in just 24 hours. 

That was a reference to the US president’s seemingly baffling quote from Monday’s Black History Month ceremony at the White House, in which Biden was trying to praise the network of power and influence of black fraternities and sororities, called the “Divine Nine,” in American politics. 

Though it was not clear from the context of his actual remarks, Biden has previously acknowledged that top African-American Democrats were behind his primary win in 2020, which he recognized by embracing the politics of “racial equity,” and picking black women for positions of power, from Kamala Harris as his running mate to Ketanji Brown-Jackson as a US Supreme Court justice.

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