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Biden explains coughing, hoarse voice, says grandson gave him a cold

President Biden said he doesn’t have COVID-19 and his horse voice and coughing spells during a speech Friday are just a cold he picked up from family.

Biden spoke in a strained, hoarse voice during a Friday speech about the disappointing jobs report, and coughed multiple times. Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked the president about his health following the speech, prompting Biden to reply that he had picked up a cold from his grandson. 

“I’m OK, I have a test every day — a COVID test. I have been checking for all the strains. What I have is a 1-and-a-half year-old grandson, who had a cold, who loves to kiss his pop,” Biden said. 

White House physician Kevin O’Connor released a letter later in the day with the permission of the president that confirmed Biden’s self-diagnosis.

“As is readily apparent, President Biden is experiencing some increased nasal congestion this week,” O’Connor wrote. “This can be heard in his voice and he is feeling the colloquially well-known ‘frog in one’s throat.'”

“Investigation has included a comprehensive respiratory panel which includes 19 common respiratory pathogens, to include COVID-19, other coronaviruses, influenze, streptococcus, to name a few,” O’Connor continued. “All of these tests were negative. Including the above, he has been tested for COVID-19 three times this week.”

Keeping COVID-19 and its variants out of the White House has been a long and arduous task for administration officials. While Biden is fully vaccinated and received his booster dose, breakthrough cases and new variants have forced officials to keep their guard up.

President Biden coughs as he talks to reporters about the November Jobs Report from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 3, 2021.

President Biden coughs as he talks to reporters about the November Jobs Report from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 3, 2021.
(ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

A White House aide was quarantined in Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19 while traveling abroad for the COP26 Summit in Glasgow. The aide did not have close contact with the president, and did not transmit the disease.

Previously, press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for the virus, though she said her vaccination kept her from experiencing intense symptoms.

President Biden speaks on the November jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. 

President Biden speaks on the November jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. 
(Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Biden, who is 79 years old, is at high risk of complication from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die,” the CDC states. “The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick.”

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