President-elect Joe Biden has said his coughing and raspy voice during Monday night’s post-electoral college vote speech was due to having “a bit of a cold,” after it raised concerns amongst viewers.
A hoarse-sounding Mr Biden gave an address after electors across the country cast their ballots confirming that, with 306 votes to Donald Trump’s 232, he would be the 46th president.
However, the former vice president had to keep pausing to clear his throat and cough, sparking fears he may have contracted the coronavirus, despite the many precautions he and the transition team have taken.
During a virtual call with supporters after the speech, Mr Biden admitted to having come down with “a little bit of a cold”, Fox News reports.
The Biden-Harris transition team undergoes frequent testing for Covid-19, with the president-elect last being tested on Friday. The result was negative.
In his speech on Monday evening, Mr Biden reiterated his pledge to end the coronavirus pandemic.
His remarks came on the same day the US death toll of officially recorded deaths from the virus topped 300,000.
It was also the same day the first vaccinations were given to medical staff, with Sandra Lindsay, a frontline nurse in Queens, New York, being one of the first to receive the shot.
“I know we'll get through this one together,” Mr Biden said in his address to the nation. “That's how we get through it — together. So, as we start the hard work to be done, may this moment give us the strength to rebuild this house of ours upon a rock that can never be washed away.”
On Tuesday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America, Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert in infectious diseases, said that both Mr Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris should be given the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
“For security reasons I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can. We want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January. So, that would be my strong recommendation,” said Dr Fauci.
Receiving the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine now, would mean getting the second dose in early January, with it then being at full strength by the inauguration on 20 January.
Dr Fauci also recommends that Mr Trump and Mike Pence also receive the vaccine: “You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now.”
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