Politics

White House Spin Machine Hits Snag After KJP’s Press Briefing Fib

(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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The White House’s attempt to quell concerns about President Joe Biden’s health appeared to hit a snag after the 81-year-old and the deputy press secretary reportedly contradicted the press secretary.

Biden met with more than 20 Democratic governors Wednesday to discuss his presidential campaign and told attendees he underwent a check-up following his debate performance and was in good health, two people in the meeting told Politico. In the first two press briefings following Biden’s disastrous debate performance, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fielded questions on the 81-year-old’s health, blaming his poor showing on a cold and then later jet lag. The press secretary, however, denied that Biden had gotten any “medical exams” since his February physical. (RELATED: White House Aides Reportedly Confirm Biden Exhibits Classic Dementia Symptom)

“Has the president had any medical exams since his last physical in February?” CNN’s MJ Lee asked during the press briefing Wednesday.

“We were able to talk to his doctor about that and that is a ‘no,'” Jean-Pierre responded.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates later said that the president had been examined a few days after the debate “to check on his cold and was recovering well,” Lee reported.

A White House official told Lee that the appointment with a doctor was a “brief check” and not a physical.

“My question yesterday was not whether he had gotten another physical,” Lee tweeted.

The conversation of Biden having a cold began during his debate performance against former President Donald Trump. The president stumbled through answers while looking confused, pale and speaking with a raspy voice. Less than half way through the debate, much of the media claimed that the president had a cold that was affecting his debate performance.

Ahead of the debate, while Biden was hunkered down at Camp David, the president was examined by a doctor for his cold, a top official told CBS News. During that visit with the doctor, Biden tested negative for COVID-19, the outlet reported.

At the February physical that Jean-Pierre mentioned, the White House doctor determined that Biden was fit for office after conducting a physical examination. Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician, wrote in a public report that Biden was an “active” 81-year-old and able to execute his duties as president.

While the cold became the White House’s primary explanation for Biden’s debate performance, the president later mentioned at a campaign event that he was tired from traveling. Jean-Pierre mentioned another factor in Biden’s debate performance was jet lag from a trip he took to France, then California and Italy nearly two weeks ahead of the event.

“I was so focused on the call – on the cold – and that’s what I kind of leaned into and talked about, but yes, his schedule did have something to do with it. It was the schedule and the cold. And I did – I was aware of that yesterday,” Jean-Pierre said of why the president’s schedule was not mentioned earlier.