WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS19 NEWS) -- President Biden sent a stern message to congressional Democrats in a letter this week as they return from recess. His message? He's not stepping out of the race.

It comes as the Democratic caucus is in a state of panic after his disastrous debate performance against former President Donald Trump just a few weeks ago. As the president stumbled over his raspy voice, sometimes losing his train of thought, the worry that he may be too old for office was reinforced.

Aside from asserting he will stay in the race against Trump, Larry Sabato, director of the UVA Center for Politics, says Biden forcefully told Democrats -- some who have publicly said he should step out of the race -- that he doesn't care what they think.

"It's a good argument," says Sabato.

In it, Biden tells congressional Democrats he will stay in the race, despite some calls for him to step out. It comes amid concerns about Biden's age after his performance in a recent debate against Trump.

"Biden was worse than any presidential nominee of a major party since debates started in 1960," says Sabato.

Sabato says the President also wrote the letter to remind Democrats that he is their party's presumptive nominee with the Democratic National Convention just over 40 days away.

"He basically said, 'You party elites can do whatever you want. Run somebody if you want to in the election at the convention, they won't win.' Well, yeah, 99% of the delegates are pledged to him, so I think that's a pretty good bet," he said.

On Tuesday, House Democrats held a high-stakes meeting to address their concerns. While some have called for Biden to drop out of the race, many Democrats have been strong supporters of his re-election.

"Right now, President Biden is the nominee and we support the Democratic nominee," says Rep. Pete Aguilar of California.

The meeting has received a lot of media coverage, but Sabato says the press must not forget about the other candidate.

"It isn't so much that the media made too much of it, it's that they can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time," he says. "Donald Trump is a disaster of a nominee, he's had a disastrous life with all kinds of things that have happened, let's put it that way."

Senate Democrats are also meeting today. Stronger commitments either way have been harder to come by in the Senate. No Democratic Senators have publicly called for the president to step aside, while some are taking a wait-and-see approach.

To see the full text of Biden’s letter, click here.