Now Biden confuses Gaza and Ukraine – twice – in his latest gaffe

Joe Biden kisses Giorgia Meloni in the Oval Office
Joe Biden kisses Giorgia Meloni in the Oval Office - EPA

Joe Biden twice confused the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, in his latest on-camera gaffe.

Speaking on Friday before a meeting with Giorgia Meloni, the Italian prime minister, Mr Biden referred to the need to get “additional food and supplies into Ukraine” and “seek to continue to open up other avenues into Ukraine”.

The president said the food and supplies would be transported with the help of Jordan, an ally in the Middle East, and that the US hoped to establish a “marine corridor to deliver large amounts of humanitarian assistance”.

A White House transcript of his remarks released on Friday evening corrected his words to refer to Gaza, not Ukraine. The supplies Mr Biden mentioned will be airdropped into the territory in the coming days.

Mr Biden has attracted public criticism for his tendency to misspeak in public.

Last month, a report by federal special prosecutor Robert Hur ruled that Mr Biden should not stand trial for improperly storing classified documents because a jury would find him to be a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory”.

The report claimed that in interviews with Mr Hur and his team, he could not recall the dates he had served as vice president to Barack Obama, and could not remember when his son had died.

Mr Biden hit back, declaring that “my memory is fine,” and that he had refused to answer questions about his son because he thought it was an inappropriate subject for Mr Hur to discuss. “How in the hell dare he raise that?” he said.

Kamala Harris, the vice president, later said the report was “politically motivated”.

Concerns about his age and mental acuity have filtered through to voters, with 86 per cent of Americans reporting in a recent poll that Mr Biden, 81, is too old to serve a second term in the White House.

A smaller majority also said that Mr Trump, 76, was too old to serve again as president.

Although in public Mr Biden has approached the subject of his age with humour, his aides are understood to be frustrated with a growing media narrative that he is senile.

Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, said recently that White House media advisers were “extremely upset” about the paper’s coverage of Mr Biden’s age.

“We are going to continue to report fully and fairly, not just on Donald Trump but also on President Joe Biden,” he said.

Earlier this week, the official White House doctor said Mr Biden was “a healthy, active, robust 81-year-old male”. The tests he took did not include a cognitive exam.