On Monday night, some people grew concerned after watching President Elect Joe Biden cough during his speech that formally addressed his victory. Biden coughed and cleared his throat several times, and his voice was fairly raspy toward the end of it, which led viewers to take to the internet and declare he has COVID-19.
A right-wing website called welovetrump.com (along with others similar to it) published a blog post titled, "78 Year Old Joe Biden Has A Coughing Fit, That Has Many Suspecting This is Not A Mere 'Cold' As He Claims" which essentially aggregated a bunch of tweets from people who have diagnosed him from their TV and laptop screens. Unsurprisingly, many conservatives are latching on to this idea of the President Elect being sick with COVID-19. So, what's actually going on?
Does Biden have COVID?
Biden addressed his coughing on Monday, saying he has a cold, so it does not appear that Biden has COVID-19. According to multiple sources, Biden was last tested on Friday for COVID-19, and his results were negative. Although it's not totally impossible for him to have contracted the virus in between Friday and Monday, the chances are small, and the President Elect has been very vocal about taking precautions. Even the conservative outlet Fox News reports that Biden's team gets tested regularly in order to keep themselves and others safe.
“Thank you, I have a little bit of a cold, I'm sorry, but look, you know, you did it, you did it, not a joke,” Biden said during a live stream of the speech, per Fox News. Biden redirected the focus back to how he's going to help unify the country once he's President. "This campaign for president was more like the first time I ran as a 29-year-old for the Senate. I believed that ordinary folks and extraordinary folks would get together and make this work. You didn't let us down. You didn't let the country down. I really mean it, think about it," he said.
It's very likely that Biden and his VP, Kamala Harris, will get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can, although Biden has also been trying to avoid the messaging that he gets preferential treatment (although since Biden is 78 years old, he would be considered to be in the "high risk" category, only due to his age), saying, "Dr. Fauci recommends I get the vaccine sooner than later. I wanted to make sure I did it by the numbers when I do it. When I do it, you'll have notice and we'll do it publicly.”
Dr. Fauci has publicly recommended that Biden should get the vaccine ASAP to be "fully protected as he enters the presidency in January," and also recommends that President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence should get it as well, since it's in the best interest of others. He added, "You still want to protect people who are very important to our country right now.”
Hopefully Biden feels better soon. As of now, there's nothing to be worried about. Remember, a huge part of Biden's job is talking a lot. For hours at a time. That would make any person feeling even slightly sick feel (and sound) worse. But sure, maybe someone should make him some nice lemon and honey tea for good measure!