US President Joe Biden said in a speech on Wednesday that he has cancer, forcing the White House press office to quickly clarify that he was referring to a previous skin cancer treatment he had before taking office last year.
Biden's statement first appeared to be an amazingly casual reference during a global warming speech in which the president described emissions from oil refineries near his childhood home in Claymont, Delaware, as the New York Post summarizes. "That's why I and so damn many other people I grew up with have cancer and why Delaware has had the highest cancer rate in the nation for the longest time," Biden said.
In this context, White House spokesman Andrew Bates referred to a tweet by Washington Post columnist Glenn Kessler, who described that before Biden took office, "skin cancer without melanoma" was discovered and removed.
However, it is entirely unclear why Biden chose to use the verb haben in the present tense to describe his cancer. Biden's doctor, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, issued a health report in 2021 that nowhere indicated that the president was currently suffering from cancer.
The cause reported by Biden is therefore also not tenable: O'Connor's report attributed Biden's earlier skin cancer to a lot of time in the sun and not to emissions from the oil industry: "It is well known that President Biden spent a lot of time in his youth in the sun," O'Connor wrote of his patient Biden, who also worked as a lifeguard in his youth.
In any case, Biden often speaks incorrectly, in the sense of incorrectly chosen grammatical tenses, summarizes the “New York Post”. In September 2021, for example, he told Jewish clergy that he remembered "spending time at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh" after the mass murder of 11 people in 2018. However, representatives of the synagogue denied such a visit. Biden later corrected himself and added that he was considering a visit.
Sources: New York Post (1), New York Post (2), Official Physician Report on Joe Biden 2021