The tragic events of the morning of September 11, 2001, saw the coordination of four terrorist attacks on the US by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda, masterminded by Osama bin Laden. Just shy of 3,000 people lost their lives in the cowardly act and 6,000 more were injured, when two planes crashed into the World Trade Centre, another into the Pentagon and a fourth into a field in Pennsylvania. This Friday, to mark the anniversary, US President Donald Trump and Mr Biden will visit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville – which stands on the spot passengers and crew bravely fought over control of the plane, thwarting an attempted attack on the US Capitol building.
But as the two candidates prepare to come closer together than they have for months, footage has emerged of Mr Biden appearing to forget the date of the attacks.
Appearing on CNN in April alongside Dr Sanjay Gupta and host Anderson Cooper, Mr Biden said: “Look, you have an entire generation of young people in 2000… when the attack occurred on 9/11, that, in fact, had been behind the eight-ball from the time they got out of school.”
The footage made its way onto YouTube, where it has racked up more than 80,000 hits, and viewers seemed to be furious at Mr Biden, suggesting he did not know when 9/11 happened.
One comment reads: “You think he forgot? What makes you think he ever knew?”
Joe Biden appeared to forget when 9/11 occurred
9/11 shook the world
Another added: “It was 2001 Joe. Never forget.”
A third asked: “What the hell is wrong with him?”
The 77-year-old has slipped up with a string of gaffes over the course of the campaign fuelling Mr Trump to dub him “sleepy”.
He had two successful operations for brain aneurysms in 1988.
But, his surgeon, Dr Paul Kassell, recently told Politico that the surgeries did not negatively affect his mental capabilities or agility in the slightest.
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Dr Kassell said: ”He is every bit as sharp as he was 31 years ago. I haven’t seen any change.
“I can tell you with absolute certainty that he had no brain damage, either from the haemorrhage or from the operations that he had.
“There was no damage whatsoever.”
Mr Biden at the time said “it was totally legitimate” for people to ask him questions about his health.
He told CBS: “I think they are going to judge me on my vitality. Can I still run up the steps of Air Force Two? Am I still in good shape? Do I have all my faculties? Am I energetic?
“I think it’s totally legitimate people ask those questions.”
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Mr Biden also had his medical records checked when former US President Barack Obama had him vetted before choosing him as his vice-presidential running mate in 2008.
But he is not alone in scrutiny – at 70 years old, Mr Trump became the oldest person to assume office, and questions have also been raised over his wellbeing.
In June, the President appeared unsteady on his feet while descending down a ramp after delivering a commencement speech in New York, sparking intense questions on his health.
After a widely-shared video showed Mr Trump walking tentatively down a long ramp after delivering his speech, he took to Twitter to offer an explanation.
He wrote: “The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long and steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery.
Almost 3,000 people lost their lives on 9/11
Friday will mark the anniversary
“The last thing I was going to do is ‘fall’ for the Fake News to have fun with.
“Final 10 feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!”
In 2019, he underwent an unscheduled physical exam.
The visit was not in the President’s public schedule, and no details of the tests have been released, but Mr Trump himself said he was in “very good” health afterwards.
In a statement, former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the tests were prompted by a “free weekend” in the President’s diary, and that Mr Trump remained healthy and energetic without complaints.
She added: “Further speculation beyond the extensive and honest info I put out is wholly irresponsible and dangerous for the country.”
It came 10 months after an annual exam also found him “in very good health”.