President Joe Biden has trouble stringing his thoughts together as it is. Now he’s showing up with a cough that won’t quit — what does that mean for the geriatric politician?
Biden couldn’t stop coughing during a speech about the many supposed achievements of Gov. Gavin Newsom in Los Angeles Monday, Breitbart reported. The president was stumping for the embattled Democratic California governor ahead of Tuesday’s vote to recall him.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 14, 2021
The president’s speech began around two hours into the feed. Biden did somewhat better than usual while delivering his remarks — light on the gibberish and heavy on the yelling — except that he was dogged by a cough that interrupted or punctuated many of his statements.
It began with some throat-clearing right off the bat. “California, I’m not sure you know it [clears throat] but if you didn’t know it you should. The eyes of the nation — this isn’t hyperbole — the eyes of the nation are on California because the decision you’re going to make isn’t [clears throat] just going to have an impact on California [clears throat]…”
Later, he coughed his way through an important message about his sweeping vaccine mandate. “In Mississippi [cough], children are required to be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis B, polio, tetanus, and more,” he said.
“It’s a state requirement [cough], but now in the midst of this pandemic that has taken over 650,00 lives, I propose a mandate for COVID-19 vaccines, and it’s an outrage, it’s an infringement on freedom,” he continued. “Look folks [cough], we don’t need politics in this battle against COVID, we need science, we need courage, we need leadership, we need Gavin Newsom,” Biden said before hacking in earnest.
“A governor who follows science, whose got the courage to do what’s right [cough] and who will lead, and I apologize for coughing,” Biden said with an oddly dramatic pause before the last word. He took a drink of water during the applause to regroup.
It isn’t unusual for a speaker to get a tickle in his throat — and Biden has revealed in the past that he suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease that could cause the cough — but it is troubling given his age and other signs of decline. Newsom may need help to survive a recall, but it’s starting to appear Biden needs help to survive period.