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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that President Joe Biden’s coughing fits that have caught social media’s attention are merely the “lingering effects” of his previous COVID-19 diagnosis.
Jean-Pierre said Biden has now tested negative for four days in a row after he was seen repeatedly coughing through his speech touting the signing of the CHIPS legislation earlier Tuesday.
“He has tested negative Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and now today,” Jean-Pierre said. “We have also said many times, I think during the briefing when we were talking about his COVID case, that he experiences calls from time to time, independent of him getting COVID, and what he’s experiencing right now is the lingering effects of COVID, which is something I’m sure many of us who have had COVID have endured or to have to deal with. And so that’s what you’re seeing at this time.”
Jean-Pierre added that a public update from Biden’s physician was not necessary.
BIDEN COUGHS THROUGH CHIPS BILL SIGNING SPEECH AFTER COVID-19 ISOLATION
“There’s no update needed,” she said. “We had actually said that this was a possibility. We had been clear about that. We actually shared that he has an inhaler that he uses from time to time because he has experienced coughs, as you’ve heard from even before COVID that he is dealt with, and basically what you’re seeing right now is the lingering effects of that. And we have talked to the doctor about this, and that’s what he relayed to us specifically.”
Biden suffered moderate symptoms during his initial bout with COVID-19 in July. White House physician Kevin O’Connor said he was suffering body aches, sore throat and other symptoms.
The president had a rebound case just days after testing negative, however. His symptoms were less severe, but he vowed to stay in self-isolation until he tested negative for two consecutive days. He did so on Sunday.
Biden repeatedly had to stop to cough during his speech Tuesday. Despite the coughing fit and the president blowing his nose, attendees still gathered around his desk for photos and shook hands with him after the speech.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.