In a press conference on Thursday, February 8th, President Joe Biden made an embarrassing gaffe when speaking about allowing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip amid rising tensions between Israel and Palestine.
“As you know, initially, the president of Mexico, Sisi, did not want to open the entrance to bring humanitarian support (to the Gaza Strip),” Biden stated. “I talked to him, I convinced him.”
However, the president he referred to was not Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt borders Gaza, and the U.S. has been negotiating with them to allow aid into the area.
This was not the first time Biden mixed up world leaders. Last year, he confused France’s President Emmanuel Macron with a former president and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel with one of her predecessors.
Recent Tensions Between U.S. and Mexico Over Border Security
In recent weeks, relations between the U.S. and Mexico reached an uneasy point after Biden proposed closing the southern border to contain the migrant crisis, angering Texas state officials.
López Obrador called the proposed closure “unintelligent” and dismissed it as election year “demagoguery.” While the alliance was not overtly threatened, a call took place last Saturday between both leaders to address migration alternatives like lifting sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba and providing economic assistance to impacted countries.
Pattern of Gaffes Raises Concerns Over Biden’s Sharpness
At 78, Biden has developed a pattern of verbal stumbles and memory lapses that raise reasonable doubts over his mental acuity. While a few mistaken names may seem trivial, these gaffes project weakness and incompetence to allies and adversaries alike.
With nuclear brinkmanship looming overseas and domestic crises mounting, America needs a chief executive fully in command of his faculties. Whether Biden meets that grave test remains an open, urgent question.