President Joe Biden on Monday said Jimmy Carter, the country’s longest-living leader, has asked him to deliver his funeral eulogy when he dies.
Carter, 98, entered hospice care in his hometown of Plains, Georgia, last month.
Biden addressed Carter’s health at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
“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 told the audience, according to a White House pool report.
“He asked me to do his eulogy,” Biden added. “Excuse me, I shouldn’t say that.”
Carter, at age 91, was diagnosed in 2015 with skin cancer that had spread to his liver and brain. His treatment included a new immune-boosting drug called Keytruda. Months later, he said he was cancer-free.
But last month, the Carter Center announced Carter wouldn’t be seeking any further medical intervention.
“After a series of short hospital stays, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter today decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention,” the Carter Center said.
In addition to his cancer, Carter in November 2019 underwent surgery “to relieve pressure on his brain from a subdural hematoma,” with no complications. He also was hospitalized that year for a urinary tract infection.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre previously told reporters that Biden last visited Carter in person in April 2021.
Jean-Pierre said the two also spoke on the evening of Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, which Carter was unable to attend.
Biden was the first senator to endorse Carter in his run for president in 1976.
Carter became the oldest living president in U.S. history following the 2018 death of George H.W. Bush.