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Biden says he has cancer in latest gaffe, White House clarifies

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on climate change and clean energy at Brayton Point Power Station on July 20, 2022 in Somerset, Massachusetts. (Photo by AFP)

US President Joe Biden said Wednesday in his latest public gaffe that he has cancer, forcing the White House to quickly clarify it was only a mistaken verb tense.

During a speech about his plans to fight against climate change in Somerset, Massachusetts, Biden recalled growing up next to a series of oil refineries in his home state of Delaware, saying they were responsible for pervasive pollution in the area.

"That's why I and so damn many other people I grew up with have cancer, and why, for the longest time, Delaware had the highest cancer rate in the nation," said Biden.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates quickly clarified that the president was referring to his non-melanoma skin cancers removed before his presidency.

"This is what the President was referring to," Bates said in a Twitter message.

 A November 2021 summary of Biden's health revealed he had "several localized, non-melanoma skin cancers removed" and remains a "healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male."

It is unclear why the president opted to use the present verb tense to describe his experience with cancer.

Social media users raised question about the president's remarks and the While House's quick withdrawal of his comments, expressing confusion as to whether he actually had cancer or if it was another accidental blunder.

"Sooo… does Joe Biden actually have cancer or did he have another elderly adventure in poorly reading a speech today?" Washington Times Columnist Tim Young tweeted.

"Maybe Joe Biden meant to say that he, himself is a cancer to America," he said.

Also, anarchist author Michael Malice joked, “Don’t worry about Joe Biden having cancer, he is married to a doctor” — referring to the fact that first lady Jill Biden uses the honorific “Dr.” to note her 2007 doctorate in education.

Biden is the oldest-ever US president and his mental acuity is frequently a matter of public debate.

The president, however, says that he intends to seek a second term in 2024.

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