A recurring cough is giving some observers renewed pause about the state of President Joe Biden’s health.
According to Breitbart, Biden spoke with reporters on two separate occasions Friday, and both times, he was described as having “a raspy voice.”
He also “repeatedly” cleared “his throat, coughing, and wiping his nose,” Breitbart reported.
Not the first time
Despite this, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki maintains that there’s nothing to worry about as for as the president is concerned. She appeared to attribute the coughing to “allergies.”
“He’s doing great,” Psaki said, as Breitbart reported. “He’s got some allergies.”
But this isn’t the first time Biden’s coughing fits have made headlines. A similar incident took place while the president was campaigning on behalf of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ahead of a recall election in the Golden State that ultimately proved unsuccessful.
In a separate report, Breitbart detailed how Biden had struggled to get sentences out without coughing at the September event. The outlet shared a partial transcript of Biden’s speech that read:
In Mississippi (*cough*), children are required to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, and more. It’s a state requirement (*cough*), but now in the midst of this pandemic that has taken over 650,00 lives, I propose a mandate for COVID-19 vaccines, and it’s an outrage.
At one point, Biden even acknowledged the issue: “I apologize for coughing,” he told the crowd.
Psaki plays defense
Per usual, Psaki was quick to come to the president’s defense then, too. At the time, she said that there was no “medical concern.”
“I think there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat or we may have a little light cold. And that’s certainly something that presidents, elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront,” the press secretary said of Biden last month, according to the New York Post, “but it’s not an area where we have a medical concern.”
The Post cited in a Friday report a 2019 statement from Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, which blamed the president’s frequent coughing on “gastro-esophageal reflux.”
“Biden is a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency,” O’Connor had said, according to the Post. He said the reflux condition may “contribute to occasional cough and sinus congestion,” but noted the now-president “has received endoscopy to rule out any more significant disease,” as the Post reported.