White House says Biden STILL hasn't seen a doctor but still has cold (2024)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that President Joe Bidenis still battling a cold - 18 days after he originally caught it on his international trip.

But remarkably, despite having a disastrous debate against Donald Trump that aides in part attributed to the common illness, he still hasn't been checked out by the doctor.

'He still has a lingering cold,' she told DailyMail.com when asked about Biden's health.

The White House has given multiple, revolving explanations for Biden's terrible debate performance, where he trailed off when answering questions and switched between topics with no segue: a bad cold, too much debate prep, and not feeling great.

Biden, himself, added a new excuse to the mix when he blamed jet lag from his international travel for his performance. But the president had been back in the country 12 days before the debate began and Jean-Pierre had not mentioned the jet lag when she talked to reporters on Tuesday.

'My bad. I did know that,' she insisted when pressed on the jet lag. 'I was focused on the cold.'

Jean-Pierre was grilled about Biden's debate performance for the vast majority of her hour-long press briefing on Wednesday.

'It's the jet lag and also the cold,' she said of the matter.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden still has a cold

She also said the octogenarian president hasn't had a medical examination since his annual physical in February.

Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, travels with him. He was seen by reporters at the president's villa in Italy. O'Connor also traveled with Biden to the debate in Atlanta.

But the 81-year-old Biden 'was not examined by the doctor,' en route to the debate, Jean-Pierre said.

'There's a cold. There's a jetlag. You combine that - he continues to work on with for the American people day in and day out, around the clock. Things happen,' she said of Biden's debate performance.

A cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. It usually last less than a week.

Read MoreEXCLUSIVE Top doctors reveal the deadly toll of a bad cold at Biden's age - and it could explain his confusion

Biden returned from attending the G7 in Italy on June 14. Before that he had been in France for the D-Day anniversary. The debate was June 27.

'The fact is that you know, I wasn´t very smart. I decided to travel around the world a couple times, going through around 100 time zones ... before ... the debate. Didn´t listen to my staff and came back and nearly fell asleep on stage,' Biden said Tuesday night of his debate performance. 'That's no excuse but it is an explanation.'

But he left out the seven days he spent at Camp David ahead of his showdown with Trump. He spent the week locked with aides in preparation for the debate.

However, Biden rarely began before 11 am and broke in the afternoon for a nap, the New York Times reported.

Jean-Pierre slammed the nap report.

'Let me be very clear about this; this is a president that wakes up every morning and puts the American first...I am not going to speak to...unnamed sources out there,' she said.

And, she argued,Biden should be commended for pushing through debate with a cold.

Jean-Pierre also denied a report that Biden privately told a key ally he is weighing whether or not to drop out of the presidential race, a shocking admission that points to the dismal state of his candidacy.

Biden, coming off of last week'sdisastrous debate performance, acknowledged he only has through this weekend to convince voters he is mentally up for the job.

He'll be in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday, where he will sit for an interview with ABC News. He travels to Pennsylvania on Sunday.

'He knows if he has two more events like that, we're in a different place' by the end of the weekend, the ally told The New York Times.

Jean-Pierre described the report as 'absolutely not' true.

'He is clear eyed, and he is staying in the race,' she said.

Biden, himself, called into a campaign staff meeting on Wednesday to give them a pep talk and tell them he'sstaying in the race and going to win.

'Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can as simply and straightforward as I can: I am running…no one's pushing me out. I'm not leaving. I'm in this race to the end and we're going to win,' he said.

President Joe Biden also blamed jet lag for his bad debate performance

Biden's physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor has not examined him recently, the White House said

If Biden exits the race with Donald Trump, Vice President Kamala Harriswould be seen as the frontrunner to replace him. Biden and Harris had lunch at the White House on Wednesday.

Democratshave fretted Biden will no long be able to defeat Trump in November. Even Biden staff have needed reassurance as more than 25 lawmakers have expressed doubts about the president's electability.

The reports Biden is eying the exit door are piling on as donors, lawmakers and top party officials worry the president isn't up for the campaign. There is also frustration that Biden is waiting to long to get back out there and show himself as a strong, energetic leader.

'He was busy dealing with his schedule and also speaking directly and engaging with supporters and spending time with his family,' Jean-Pierre said of the president's schedule.

A major donor told TMZ that 'it's only a matter of time' before Biden bows out.

Another ally told CNN that Biden understands the next stretch of days are critical to whether he can save his candidacy, noting what it would take him to accept: 'It's just not working.'

'He sees the moment. He's clear-eyed,' the person said.

As to what it would take would be the polls are plummeting, the fundraising is drying up, and the interviews are going badly,' that person said. 'He's not oblivious.'

The White House is struggling to calm the storm of outrage from Biden's debate performance as Democratic lawmakers call for the president to exit the race and the White House staff are 'freaking the f*** out.'

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients held an all-hands-on-deck staff call at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to pump up disillusioned staff and reassure them that Biden will remain the nominee.

On the call, he acknowledged Biden didn't have a great debate performance last week but told staff that he's a 'great president' and urged them to 'stay together.'

'He didn't have a great night but that was one night and what we all know is he is a great president,' Zients said per reports.

He made three key points: keep your head down and keep working for the American people while the campaign handles the election; hold your head high as the administration has accomplished so much; and stick together.

The call lasted about 10 minutes. Zients didn't take questions but said concerned staff should email him. He repeated Biden's quote that when you get knocked down, you get back up.

'That's what he is doing and that's what we all need to do ... follow the president's lead,' he said.

White House says Biden STILL hasn't seen a doctor but still has cold (2024)
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