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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - DECEMBER 08: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden coughs while annoucing the members of his health team, including his pick for secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, at the Queen Theater December 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. With the novel coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage the country with daily records for infections and deaths, members of Biden's health team said they will make fighting COVID-19 the priority. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

White House Steps Around Questions About Joe Biden’s Health

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Joe Biden is officially the oldest man to ever be president, as he hits 79 in November, and the White House does not appear to be fond of answering certain questions about him.

For example, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently danced around answering questions about his upcoming physical examination and his health status.

As her daily press briefing wrapped on Thursday Brian Karem, who used to be the senior White House correspondent for Playboy magazine, shouted a question at Psaki.

Q    Hey Jen, will he take a physical anytime soon and report it to the American public?

MS. PSAKI:  He will.

Q    How soon — do we know?

MS. PSAKI:  I don’t have an update for you, but will soon.

Q    But before the end of the year?

MS. PSAKI:  I promise you.  Kelly asks about this all the time.  He’s keeping us on our toes.

Q    Yeah.  Thank you.

Good old circle back Jen. The Kelly name drop was about NBC News reporter Kelly O’Donnell who has gained a reputation for asking tough questions of the administration, The Daily Mail reported.

Covering the White House since the George W. Bush administration, O’Donnell has garnered a reputation for doggedly pressing issues. 

On July 26, Biden even called her a ‘pain in the neck’ after she shouted a question about Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough’s department-wide COVID vaccine mandate for its health care workers.

‘You are such a pain in the neck, but I’m going to answer your question because we’ve known each other so long,’ the president shot back.

O’Donnell retorted, ‘I take that as a compliment, Mr. President,’ earning a chuckle from Biden.  

Requests for Biden’s medical records were reignited last month after a September 16 speech the 78-year-old president made was frequently interrupted by his persistent cough.

“One very different — separate.  Many of us were in the East Room watching the President.  We’ve seen him on many occasions where he has a repeated cough.  What is the situation with that cough?  And is that a concern?” she said.

“It’s not a concern.  We have a doctor who travels with him, obviously, who checks in if there is — it is ever warranted.  And certainly, that continues to be the case, as it has been since the beginning of his presidency,” Psaki responded.

“Is there an explanation for why he coughed so frequently in situations like that?  I’m sure you saw it,” the reporter persisted.

“I did.  I don’t think it’s an issue of concern.  I think there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat or we may have a little light cold.  And that’s certainly something that presidents, elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront, but it’s not an area where we have a medical concern,” the press secretary said.

And just last week Biden appeared to suffer a mental lapse and forgot the name of one of his own officials.

The president was attempting to thank his port czar John Porcari on Wednesday for addressing the ongoing supply chain issues, even as the supply chain has not shown any signs of improving, The New York Post reported.

But in thanking him, Biden called him by the incorrect name two times.

“I know you’re hearing a lot about something called supply chains and how hard it is to get a range of things from a toaster to sneakers to bicycles to bedroom furniture. And that’s why back in February I signed… an executive order on supply chains and what we had to move on them,” he said.

“I want to thank my Supply Chain Disruption Task Force, which we set up in June, led by Secretaries [Pete] Buttigieg, [Gina] Raimondo, and [Tom] Vilsack, and by my Director of National Economic Council Bryan Deese. I want to thank them for their leadership,” he said before mentioning Porcari.

“I especially want to thank Joe Porcari, and I think Joe’s done one heck of a job, my special envoy specifically on ports, who’s been working this issue with all the stakeholders for the past several weeks,” he said.


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