US President Joe Biden delivered a speech Friday with a notably hoarse voice, but insisted he had simply caught a cold from his grandson and is tested daily for Covid-19.
The gravelly, lower-pitched tone of Biden’s voice as he spoke at the White House on the economy, also peppered with several coughs, prompted the first journalist called on for a question to ask, “Are you okay?”
“I am okay,” Biden said. “I have a test every day… a Covid test. They check me for all the strains.”
“What I have is a 1 1/2-year-old grandson who had a cold who likes to kiss his pop… but it’s just a cold,” he added.
The arrival of winter hand in hand with the emergence of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 have raised fears of a potential resurgence of cases, particularly as Americans gather for end-of-year festivities.
Biden spent last week’s Thanksgiving holiday with his family.
He turned 79 days earlier and is the oldest president ever elected in the United States, making his health of particular concern.
Earlier in November, he underwent an extensive but routine checkup, after which White House physician Kevin O’Connor said the president was “healthy” and “vigorous.”
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