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SURPRISE: ABC, NBC Reporters Ask Psaki About Biden’s Health After Coughing Fit

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Thursday’s episode of The Psaki Show featured two welcome surprises as NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell and then ABC’s Karen Travers asked Press Secretary Jen Psaki about President Biden’s health in light of the fact that Biden repeatedly had to battle a cough to get through his remarks an hour prior about the economy. The questions came after the liberal media spent years insisting President Trump showed severe cognitive and physical declines.

Following some solid questions about Afghanistan, O’Donnell switched gears: “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?”

Psaki immediately shot back that “[i]t’s not a concern” and “we have a doctor who travels with him — obviously, who checks in if — if it is ever warranted and, certainly that continues to be the case, as it has been since the beginning of his presidency.”

O’Donnell wasn’t taking that for an answer, so she followed up: “Is there an explanation for why he coughs so frequently in situations like that? I’m sure you saw it.”

Psaki says she too saw, but didn’t “think it’s an issue of concern” because “there are a range of reasons why we may need to clear our throat or we may have a little, light cold,” which “presidents, elected officials, reporters, spokespeople can confront.”

Before moving on, Psaki insisted that Biden’s coughing fits are “not an area where we have a medical concern.”

Skip ahead about 30 minutes and Travers asked about it in context of when Biden will get a physical: “Following up on one of the questions from Kelly. Do you have an update on when the President will get a physical?”

Psaki provided an answer that sure wouldn’t slide under Trump, calling it “an understandable question,” though “I don’t have an update.”

“He will get one soon. And when he does, we will make sure you all are aware of it and get the information,” she added.

Elsewhere in the briefing, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich cited Senate testimony from Army Gen. Scott Miller as a way of calling out more Afghanistan mistruths from Biden (click “expand”):

HEINRICH: And I wanted to get to the hearing on the Hill — 

PSAKI: Yeah.

HEINRICH: — with General Miller. The President told ABC back in August that none of his advisers recommended leaving 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Gen. Miller told the Senate Armed Services Committee that that was exactly what he recommended. Was the President’s answer in that interview an honest answer?

PSAKI: First of all, I’m not going to get into details of private advice that the President gets from his national security team or military advisers. What is clear is that the President asked for, welcomed candid, non-sugar-coated advice on Afghanistan and what we should do given what we walked into, which was a deal struck with the Taliban with a May 1 timeline, including release of 5,000 Taliban fighters where we would need to get our U.S. Forces out otherwise we would face conflict. That’s what he was facing. In terms of the mechanisms of who providedwhat advice through what forum, I’m just not going to get into that level of detail from here.

HEINRICH: Did the President adhere specifically to the recommendation from the commander on the ground be Afghanistan that he feared that a full withdrawal would be devastating and should not happen?

PSAKI: He was provided a range of advice. I’m not going to get into more details than that. But what’s important to note at this point so it’s crystal clear that 2,500 troops would not have been sustainable on the ground. It would have been either increased troops on the ground or withdraw troops on the ground. And the President has been clear many times that he was not going to send thousands and thousands more troops to fight a war the Afghans did not want to fight themselves.

Moments later, Newsmax’s Emerald Robinson received a rare opportunity to question Psaki (who’s clearly not a fan of her) and, after pressing her on two FDA resignations last month, the White House reporter said the Biden administration “is cutting” the supply of monoclonal antibodies “in red states by 50 percent.”

After arguing the treatments can be used for anyone who’s contracted COVID (vaccinated or unvaccinated), Psaki hit back by saying her claims were “not accurate.”

Psaki did point out that while “monoclonal antibodies are lifesaving therapies that are used after infection to prevent more severe outcome,” the best way to ward off against even needing them is to be vaccinated in the first place.

However, Psaki then talked about the need for “equitable” distribution of resources, so Robinson interjected (click “expand”):

PSAKI: But over the last month, given the rise in cases due to the Delta variant, and the lower number of vaccination rates in some of these states like Florida, like Texas, just seven states are making up 70 percent of the orders. Our supply is not unlimited. And we believe it should be equitable across states —

[INAUDIBLE ROBINSON]

PSAKI: — across the country. Do you —

ROBINSON: There’s been no reports of a — of a lack of supply, so why cut them to those states only if there’s no reports of —

PSAKI: I think our role as the — as the government overseeing the entire country, is to be equitable in how we distribute. We’re not going to give a greater percentage Florida over Oklahoma, nor do I think you are suggesting that. I think we have to move on.

To see the relevant briefing transcript from September 16, click “expand.”

White House press briefing (via CBSN)

September 16, 2021

2:59 p.m. Eastern

KELLY O’DONNELL: One very different, separate subject. 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?

JEN PSAKI: It’s not a concern. We have a doctor who travels with him — obviously, who checks in if — if it is ever warranted and, certainly that continues to be the case, as it has been since the beginning of his presidency.

O’DONNELL: Is there an explanation for why he coughs so frequently in situations like that? I’m sure you saw it.

PSAKI: 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.

(….)

3:18 p.m. Eastern

JACQUI HEINRICH: And I wanted to get to the hearing on the Hill — 

PSAKI: Yeah.

HEINRICH: — with General Miller. The President told ABC back in August that none of his advisers recommended leaving 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Gen. Miller told the Senate Armed Services Committee that that was exactly what he recommended. Was the President’s answer in that interview an honest answer?

PSAKI: First of all, I’m not going to get into details of private advice that the President gets from his national security team or military advisers. What is clear is that the President asked for, welcomed candid, non-sugar-coated advice on Afghanistan and what we should do given what we walked into, which was a deal struck with the Taliban with a May 1 timeline, including release of 5,000 Taliban fighters where we would need to get our U.S. Forces out otherwise we would face conflict. That’s what he was facing. In terms of the mechanisms of who providedwhat advice through what forum, I’m just not going to get into that level of detail from here.

HEINRICH: Did the President adhere specifically to the recommendation from the commander on the ground be Afghanistan that he feared that a full withdrawal would be devastating and should not happen?

PSAKI: He was provided a range of advice. I’m not going to get into more details than that. But what’s important to note at this point so it’s crystal clear that 2,500 troops would not have been sustainable on the ground. It would have been either increased troops on the ground or withdraw troops on the ground. And the President has been clear many times that he was not going to send thousands and thousands more troops to fight a war the Afghans did not want to fight themselves.

(….)

3:22 p.m. Eastern

ROBINSON: I do have another question about the President’s —

PSAKI: Mmhmm.

ROBINSON: — Covid plan. He promised on September 9 that he was going to send 50 percent more supply of monoclonal antibodies to states. Yet, the Biden administration is cutting supplies in red states by 50 percent. So, for example, you know, in Florida, they were expecting to get 70,000 doses this week, which they say they need. They’re only getting 30,000 doses. And this is not just for unvaccinated people. In South Florida, half the people who were seeking this treatment are fully vaccinated. So, why is the Biden administration cutting these supplies?

PSAKI: That’s not accurate. So, let me give you the accurate information. First of all, we are increasing our distribution this month by 50 percent. In early August, we were distributing an average of 100,000 doses per week. Now, we’re shipping an average of 150,000 doses per week, Over the last month, though — and one thing that I think people need to understand for clarity, I know — I know you’re — like facts, is that monoclonal antibodies are lifesaving therapies that are used after infection to prevent more severe outcome. So, clearly, the way to protect people and save more lives is get them vaccinated so that they don’t get — the Covid to begin with. But over the last month, given the rise in cases due to the Delta variant, and the lower number of vaccination rates in some of these states like Florida, like Texas, just seven states are making up 70 percent of the orders. Our supply is not unlimited. And we believe it should be equitable across states —

[INAUDIBLE ROBINSON]

PSAKI: — across the country. Do you —

ROBINSON: There’s been no reports of a — of a lack of supply, so why cut them to those states only if there’s no reports of —

PSAKI: I think our role as the — as the government overseeing the entire country, is to be equitable in how we distribute. We’re not going to give a greater percentage Florida over Oklahoma, nor do I think you are suggesting that. I think we have to move on.

(….)

3:29 p.m. Eastern

KAREN TRAVERS: Following up on one of the questions from Kelly. Do you have an update on when the President will get a physical?”

PSAKI: I — I know this is an understandable question. I don’t have an update. He will get one soon. And when he does, we will make sure you all are aware of it and get the information.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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