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President Joe BidenCNN / YouTube

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – President Joe Biden returned to the United States on Thursday morning after a trip to Israel to show support for the Jewish democracy days after the Islamist terror group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack that killed 1,400 people and took 200 hostages. Several videos from the trip have emerged that renew persistent concerns about the commander-in-chief’s physical and mental fitness to lead America during geopolitical crises.

During an appearance on stage next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden attempted to bring up a past statement by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken but visibly struggled to recall the quote and eventually gave up. “Well, I won’t go into it,” he said. “I’ll wait ‘till later.”

Biden then shared that he was “deeply saddened and outraged” by an explosion at a Gaza Strip hospital that was initially attributed to Israeli airstrikes but later proven to be the work of jihadists – or, as the president said, “appears as though it was done by the other team, not … not you.” While discussing the incident, Biden looked down at a paper in his hands, apparently reading the basic remarks.

While speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Biden shared some thoughts about victims of violence, during which he spoke slowly and took several lengthy pauses within sentences.

At one point during the briefing, Biden admitted he was “losing track of days” in trying to lay out the upcoming sequence of events for delivering humanitarian aid to the region, adding “you guys are such a pain in the neck” to reporters who offered clarifications.

Biden was also asked about American citizens stranded in the region, to which the president said “we’re gonna get people out, but I’m not going into any detail with you now,” at which point White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stepped in to end the session. 

One of the Republicans competing for the nomination to replace Biden next year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has organized flights that have already rescued several hundred Americans while delivering 85 pallets worth of medical supplies, clothes, sleeping bags, hygiene products, and children’s toys for those who remain. Businessman and fellow GOP contender Vivek Ramaswamy also followed suit and chartered flights for the same purpose.

“Federal government dragged its feet, a lot of those folks didn’t have any options,” DeSantis said. “We stepped up, showed the leadership, and are delivering results.”

Throughout the clips, Biden noticeably speaks slowly, sometimes pronouncing words unclearly, with conspicuous pauses throughout, underscoring fears that the current president lacks the energy, attentiveness, and mental ability to navigate urgent, complicated issues of escalating terrorist attacks and diplomatic relations, especially with America facing numerous pressing problems at home and abroad.

During CBS’s “60 Minutes,” host Scott Pelly went so far as to suggest his own explanation for Biden’s performance, saying “America’s oldest president seemed tired from directing” the administration’s envoys in both Israel and Ukraine, which continues its efforts to fend off invasion by Russia.

Biden’s job performance has sparked a marked increase in speculation from friends and foes alike as to whether his mind has deteriorated with old age, so much so that during the 2020 campaign, Biden pledged only to serve one term “if anything changed in my health” to render him mentally incapable of the job.

At age 80, Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history, and throughout his presidency he has been hounded by concerns that he has been suffering cognitive decline. Biden has been famously gaffe-prone throughout his decades in politics, but recent years have seen a marked increase of odd and incoherent statements from the former senator and vice president, as well as moments in which he has appeared lost, confused, and prone to tripping.

“[F]ully 77% said Biden is too old to be effective for four more years” in an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll released at the end of August, the AP reported. “Not only do 89% of Republicans say that, so do 69% of Democrats. That view is held across age groups, not just by young people, though older Democrats specifically are more supportive of his 2024 bid.”

Biden is officially running for reelection amid poor job approval, which when combined with the above issues has prompted speculation his party may replace him with younger and equally radical California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

His opponent is expected to either be 77-year-old former President Donald Trump, who maintains a commanding lead in the Republican primary, or DeSantis, who is trying to make the case to voters that he would be a more electable and reliable conservative champion on issues such as LGBT ideology. Trump narrowly leads Biden in some polls but faces multiple legal battles severely impacting his ability to campaign in a general election.

Further complicating election prognostication is Kennedy family scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a longtime Democrat who will be running as an independent in the general election. Kennedy and numerous Republicans believe he would pull more votes from Trump than Biden over COVID-19 policy, although the limited data available so far does not yet indicate a clear answer in either direction.

The Republican primaries do not begin until January, and the general election is more than a year away. Numerous future variables – Biden’s health, Trump’s trials, a Kennedy run, new national crises – could impact all the race’s potential outcomes in any number of directions.