The White House on Friday walked back a claim made by President Joe Biden that he has been “tested daily” for the coronavirus.
“I have a test every day to see — a COVID test. They check me for all the strains,” Biden said to reporters on Friday morning.
The president said he was doing “okay” after repeatedly coughing and sounding hoarser than usual during a speech on the latest job numbers.
He said his condition was the result of a cold he had caught from his young grandson, after spending time with his family during his Thanksgiving vacation.
But the White House clarified later Friday that the president was not tested daily for the coronavirus.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was tested on a “regular basis,” and only three times this week after he started showing symptoms.
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.
Biden’s physician released a memo Friday afternoon noting the president was tested with a “comprehensive respiratory panel” which included “19 common respiratory pathogens” including COVID-19, other coronaviruses, influenza, and streptococcus but that it “came back negative.”
Psaki also told reporters there was not a change in Biden’s testing protocol and he would not be tested daily.
She indicated Biden would continue his scheduled day with some over-the-counter cold medication, and “probably some cough drops and some tea.”
The president intends to spend his weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David.