Psaki says no medical 'issue of concern' over Biden's persistent cough

“I think there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat,” the Press Secretary told reporters

Helen Elfer
Thursday 16 September 2021 22:06
Watch live as Joe Biden makes address on economy

A reporter has questioned White House press secretary Jen Psaki about why President Biden appears to have a persistent cough.

NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell asked Ms Psaki why Mr Biden coughs so often and whether it was a concern, indicating it had been noticeable in a speech he made that day.

“Many of us were in the East Room watching the president,” began NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, presumably in reference to remarks about the economy Mr Biden had delivered earlier on.

She continued: “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?”

Ms Psaki responded “It’s not a concern. We have a doctor who travels with him obviously, who checks in if it is ever warranted, and certainly that continues to be the case as it has been since the beginning of his presidency.”

Ms O’Donnell pressed the issue, asking: “Is there an explanation for why he coughs so frequently in situations like that? I’m sure you saw it.”

“I did,” responded Ms Pskai. “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. 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.”

As the nation’s oldest president to date, Mr Biden’s health is the subject of much speculation in the media. He is due to have a medical check-up later in the year and the White House has said it will release the results to the public.

In May this year, Ms Psaki said: “Certainly when he has his next medical appointment, we will be transparent about that and provide that information to all of you.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments