Biden Now Has Cough, but Not COVID

Carolyn Crist

August 10, 2022

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

President Joe Biden continues to test negative for COVID-19 but has a lingering effect of the virus, namely a cough.

Biden coughed several times during a speech on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday, which made him stop a few times and turn his head or sip water, according to Reuters.

The coughing drew the attention of supporters and detractors on social media.

Biden recently recovered from his second bout of COVID-19 and was isolated for more than 2 weeks in the White House. He tested negative from Saturday through Tuesday but still has a cough.

"We have also said many times, I think, during the briefing when we were talking about his COVID case, that he experiences coughs from time to time, independent of him getting COVID," Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said during a news briefing on Tuesday.

Biden, who has had asthma, carries an albuterol inhaler that he uses sometimes due to coughs, she said.

"And what he's experiencing right now is the lingering effects of COVID, which is something I'm sure many of us who have had COVID have endured or had to deal with," Jean-Pierre said.

Biden has "reactive airway disease," Ashish Jha, MD, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said in July, according to Reuters. That means he is prone to "getting a little bit of bronchospasm," or cough, Jha said.

Biden used an inhaler to ease his cough while he had COVID-19, and he has used an inhaler when he had a cold, Jha said.

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