President Joe Biden on Monday revealed that former President Jimmy Carter, who entered hospice care at home last month after a series of hospital stays, asked him to deliver his eulogy.
During a fundraiser in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., on Monday evening, Biden said he spent time with Carter recently and that the former president’s health has “finally caught up with him.”
“He asked me to do his eulogy — excuse me I shouldn’t say that,” Biden, who was speaking without notes, said. “I spent time with Jimmy Carter and it’s finally caught up with him. But they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated because they found a breakthrough.”
Biden also spoke about his “Cancer Moonshot” initiative that aims to reduce the mortality rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years.
The Carter Center did not provided details of the former president’s recent hospitalizations when he entered hospice care at his home in Georgia last month.
Biden expressed well wishes to Carter and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, last month.
During his first term in the Senate, Biden endorsed Carter’s bid in 1976 for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Carter and his wife filmed a video of their endorsement of Biden that aired during the 2020 Democratic National Convention. In the the video, Carter said they have “known and admired Joe and Jill [Biden] for many years” and described Biden as his “first and most effective supporter in the Senate.”
Carter, 98, is the oldest living former American president and the first president born in a hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer in August 2015 — melanoma that had spread to his liver and brain — but he was later declared cancer-free. In 2019, Carter suffered a black eye and received stitches after a fall and was later hospitalized with a fractured pelvis incurred in a separate fall.
Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner and Caroline Kenny contributed.