According to Breitbart, President Joe Biden raised eyebrows on Tuesday when he repeatedly coughed and hacked during a speech about his winter plan for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has once again surged due to the spread of the omicron variant.
A video montage showing the many times Biden coughed was posted to Twitter after the speech, courtesy of The Washington Free Beacon:
WATCH: High-Risk Presidency: 79-Year-Old Joe Biden Coughs His Way Through COVID-19 Press Conference
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) December 21, 2021
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden had repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 after coming into close contact with a mid-level, vaccinated staffer who later tested positive.
The staffer was on Air Force One, close to the president, for about 30 minutes on Friday, Psaki said Monday morning. The timing means that Biden could still become infected with the virus, although airplanes’ advanced filtration makes it unlikely.
“He does not have symptoms. … Apologies, he has not tested positive,” she said in response to questions from reporters. “He tested negative yesterday, as we indicated, and he’ll be tested again tomorrow. He has not — he does not have any symptoms, either.”
A persistent cough is a symptom of COVID-19, but it is also a symptom of many other infections, and his cough was previously noted by his physician during his physical last month.
It does seem ironic when the president coughs through a speech concerning COVID-19, however.
Biden sees concern, not panic
Biden continued to encourage Americans to get vaccinated and get booster shots to protect against the new omicron variant, which has become the dominant variant in the U.S. in the space of a week because of its easy transmissibility.
For the most part, omicron seems to be much milder than previous variants, however. Only one U.S. death, which occurred in Houston, Texas, has been reported due to omicron so far, as KHOU 11 reported.
Biden suggested in his speech that unvaccinated people put others at risk, even as he said that those who are vaccinated are “protected” from the virus. It wasn’t clear who he thought would be at risk from unvaccinated people, or if his logic was just flawed.
He also instructed all Americans to wear masks indoors at all times, but did not wear one himself before, during, or after the speech, which is especially concerning given that he was recently exposed to the virus.