Biden spoke in a strained, hoarse voice during a Friday speech about the disappointing jobs report, and coughed multiple times. Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked the president about his health following the speech, prompting Biden to reply that he had picked up a cold from his grandson.
“I’m OK, I have a test every day — a COVID test. I have been checking for all the strains. What I have is a 1-and-a-half year-old grandson, who had a cold, who loves to kiss his pop,” Biden said.
Keeping COVID-19 and its variants out of the White House has been a long and arduous task for administration officials. While Biden is fully vaccinated and received his booster dose, breakthrough cases and new variants have forced officials to keep their guard up.
A White House aide was quarantined in Scotland after testing positive for COVID-19 while traveling abroad for the COP26 Summit in Glasgow. The aide did not have close contact with the president, and did not transmit the disease.
Previously, Press Secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for the virus, though she said her vaccination kept her from experiencing intense symptoms.
Biden, who is 79 years old, is at high risk of complication from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die,” the CDC states. “The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick.”