Questions of Joe Biden’s health are back in the headlines after the president was seen repeatedly breaking out into coughs during a speech Friday.
When asked by reporters if Biden is doing “all right,” however, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was quick to dismiss the coughing fits as no more than “allergies,” Breitbart reported.
“Is his health OK?”
Speaking Friday afternoon, Biden had attempted to put a positive spin on the dismal September jobs report released earlier in the day.
But his message was lost, as the president appeared almost as sickly as the economy under his policies. Breitbart noted that Biden’s voice sounded “raspy” and he was repeatedly compelled to clear his throat, cough, and even wipe a runny nose throughout his prepared remarks.
Just a couple of hours later, at the very end of Friday’s press briefing at the White House, a journalist shouted out: “Jen, we saw him coughing and sniffling earlier. Is his health OK? Before there’s wild speculation — is he all right?”
“He is doing great,” Psaki replied, according to a White House transcript. “He’s got some allergies.” With that, the press secretary left the room.
Not the first time
Were this an isolated or infrequent occurrence, it’s likely that Psaki’s explanation would have sufficed. But Biden’s coughing and sniffling haven’t been isolated or even infrequent, and Psaki was actually pressed by reporters on it just a few weeks ago.
“We’ve seen him on many occasions where he has a repeated cough. What is the situation with that cough? And is that a concern?” a journalist asked during that day’s briefing. Psaki replied that it was “not a concern,” and went on to mention that there is always a doctor on hand to keep watch over the president’s health.
Not a concern?
Pressed for an “explanation” for why Biden “coughed so frequently,” Psaki reiterated, “I don’t think it’s an issue of 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,” she added last month, according to another transcript from the White House. “And that’s certainly something that presidents, elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront, but it’s not an area where we have a medical concern.”
But try as Psaki might to shrug off worries about Biden’s condition, if even the White House press corps is speaking up about it, it’s clear the American people deserve answers.