“What I have is a one-and-a-half-year-old grandson who had a cold who likes to kiss his pop,” Biden added. “It’s just a cold.”
Kevin C. O’Connor, the president’s physician, said in a memo Friday that Biden received a comprehensive respiratory panel for 19 common respiratory pathogens including covid-19, other coronaviruses, influenza and streptococcus.
“All of these tests were negative,” O’Connor wrote, adding that Biden had been tested for coronavirus three times this week. “Treatment will include common over the counter medications for symptoms.”
O’Connor said in the memo, which was released with Biden’s permission, that the president has been “experiencing some increased nasal congestion this week. This can be heard in his voice and he is feeling the colloquially well-known ‘frog in ones throat.’”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden is “taking some over-the-counter cold medication and probably some cough drops and some tea, but otherwise he’s proceeding with his schedule.”
Biden has given public speeches multiple days this week updating Americans on the status of the coronavirus pandemic and specifically the arrival of the omicron variant in the United States.
Biden, 79, is the oldest person to be president of the United States, and his health has been a regular topic of conversation for critics and supporters alike. The president visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for a physical exam the week before Thanksgiving.
Biden was deemed “fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency” by his physician following a “routine physical.”
In a six-page summary of his physical released by the White House, Kevin O’Connor — who has been Biden’s primary care doctor since 2009 — observed that Biden “has experienced increasing frequency and severity of ‘throat clearing’ and coughing during speaking engagements.”
O’Connor concluded that Biden’s coughing and throat clearing — which critics have seized on as a sign that Biden is unwell — are the result of his existing gastroesophageal reflux, and that no additional treatment is needed other than continuing with his current regimen of Pepcid.