President Joe Biden struggled to place a pen in his pocket on Tuesday while signing executive orders on racial equity, Breitbart reported.
The gaffe occurred after Biden made a solemn promise to combat “systemic racism.”
“I’m not promising we can end it tomorrow. But I promise you we’re going to continue to make progress to eliminate systemic racism, and every branch of the White House and the federal government is going to be part of that effort,” he said.
Biden then appeared to struggle with putting his pen away as he sat down and prepared to sign the executive orders. Looking down at the first order, he is seen jamming the pen into his coat several times without success before looking down to search for the pocket.
He chuckles and continues to struggle for a few moments while mumbling. A voice that sounds like Vice President Kamala Harris says, “What do you need?” Biden seems to mumble, “Excuse me. Trying to put my pen away here,” before replacing the pen inside his pants pocket.
Biden was dogged by speculation that he was going senile on the campaign trail, and concerns about his cognitive faculties have not dissipated. At 78, Biden is the oldest president in American history at the time of his inauguration.
Biden targets “systemic racism”
The orders Biden signed call for an end to the Justice Department’s reliance on private prisons, to reaffirm the government’s respect for the sovereignty of Native American tribes, to combat discrimination against Asian-Americans amid the coronavirus, and to address alleged discrimination in housing policy, NBC News reported.
The coronavirus order suggests oddly that it’s xenophobic to refer to the coronavirus by “the geographic location of its origin,” a reference to former President Donald Trump’s “China Virus” comments.
Biden also commented Tuesday on Trump’s “offensive” 1776 commission, which sought to promote “patriotic education,” and a “harmful” ban on “white privilege” training in the federal government that Biden reversed.
“Our soul will be troubled as long as systemic racism is allowed to persist,” Biden said.
Still facing backlash for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, Biden paused new leases for oil and gas on federal lands Wednesday in a spate of orders purported to address climate change.