White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked Thursday to explain why President Joe Biden is coughing so much, and her evasive answers raised some eyebrows.
NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell noted at the daily press briefing that Biden has been seen “on many occasions where he has a repeated cough,” and pressed Psaki for an explanation.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell to Psaki: "We've seen [Biden] on many occasions where he has a repeated cough? What is the situation with that cough and is that a concern?…Is there an explanation for why he coughs so frequently in situations like that? I'm sure you saw it." pic.twitter.com/Jeh2L4rndY
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 16, 2021
Money quote: “I think there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat, or we may have a little, light cold,” Psaki said, after acknowledging she too has observed Biden’s coughing.
- “And that’s certainly something presidents, elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront. But it’s not an area where we have a medical concern.”
Biden’s coughing and other apparent infirmities have long raised questions about his health and fitness to be president.
- In a December 2019 letter averring Biden was fit for the presidency, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s longtime personal doctor turned White House physician, said the then-president elect was being treated for allergies, sinus congestion and heartburn.
- O’Connor said symptoms from Biden’s heartburn, technically known as gastro-esophageal reflux, “may also contribute to occasional cough and sinus congestion.”