President Joe Biden raised alarm Friday as he struggled through a speech at the White House reacting to the jobs report.
Throughout the address, Biden’s voice was notably hoarse and he coughed several times.
When reporters asked about his health, the president blamed his baby grandson for giving him a cold.
“What I have is a one-and-a-half-year-old grandson who had a cold, who likes to kiss his Pop,” Biden said. “And he’d been kissing my — anyway, so — but it’s just a cold.”
The president spent his Thanksgiving vacation with his family in Nantucket, including Biden’s son Hunter who has a baby son named Beau Biden, born in Spring 2020.
Biden said he had been tested for the coronavirus which came back negative.
“I’m ok, I have a test every day to see, a COVID test, I’ve been checking for all the strains,” he said.
Biden’s physician Kevin C. O’Connor said in a memo to reporters after the president spoke noting that the president was suffering from “increased nasal congestion.”
“This can be heard in his voice and he is feeling the colloquially well-known ‘frog in ones throat,'” he wrote.
O’Connor said Biden had been tested with a “comprehensive respiratory panel which includes 19 common respiratory pathogens, to include COVID-19, other coronaviruses, influenza, streptococcus and others,” and came back negative.”
Previously, the White House said the president had a coronavirus test on Monday which came back negative.
Biden tried to spin the disappointing jobs numbers as good news after the November report showed the economy added only 210,000 jobs, even though the unemployment rate sank to 4.2 percent. Economists had forecast over 500,000 jobs for the month.
“Our economy is markedly stronger than it was a year ago,” he said. “And today, the incredible news that our unemployment rate has fallen to 4.2 percent.”