President-elect Joe Biden’s hoarse voice and persistent coughing during his speech Monday night sparked concern among viewers and prompted one doctor to urge him to cough into his elbow.
Biden celebrated Monday’s Electoral College vote that announced he passed the 270 vote threshold and affirmed he won the presidency, saying ‘Not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish the flame’ of democracy.
However, Biden sounded hoarse and he stopped several times to cough and clear his throat during his speech from Wilmington, Delaware, leading social media users to crack jokes and say ‘Drink some water, Joe. You’re scaring us.’
One Twitter user asked ‘Does Biden need a COVID test?’ and another chimed in ‘Someone get Biden some Robitussin stat!!!’
President-elect Joe Biden’s hoarse voice and persistent coughing during his speech Monday night sparked concern on social media and prompted one doctor to urge him to cough into his elbow
Dr. Melody McCloud tweeted Biden’s senior advisor Karine Jean-Pierre to advise Biden to cough into his inner elbow rather than his hand saying, ‘No more coughing into his hand. SEet a good example’
One doctor tweeted Biden Senior Advisor Karine Jean-Pierre to advise Biden to cough into his inner elbow rather than his hand.
‘Congratulations. But please…please advise President-Elect Biden to cough into the bend of his arm, not into his hand. As a physician, I cringe every time I see that. Please. Practice it ‘prn’ [if needed], but no more coughing into his hand. Set a good example. Thank you,’ Dr. Melody McCloud tweeted.
NPR political correspondent Scott Detrow said it’s normal for Biden to clear his throat and cough in speeches, but noted, ‘That’s the most sustained coughing I’ve heard though.’
One Twitter user shared ‘Biden cleared his throat at least 17 times tonight in his 14 minute speech!’
Writer Terry J Richard replied: ‘Trump sniffles dozens of times during his speeches. At least Biden didn’t use illegal drugs (sic) to lead to his throat clearing.’
Biden may have been suffering from a cold during his speech. Earlier this month Biden fractured his foot while playing with his Germany Shepherd Major and was seen out using a black medical boot on his right foot.
Biden’s speech Monday was not a victory lap, but rather an effort to establish his own legitimacy while calling out Trump’s relentless effort to overturn the results in his strongest attack on the sitting president since winning the election last month.
‘Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even if we find those results hard to accept,’ said Biden – alluding to Trump’s refusal to concede or accept the results.
Clearing his hoarse throat repeatedly, Biden teed off on the Trump campaign’s repeated legal defeats, and pointed to Friday’s devastating decision by the Supreme Court.
‘Respecting the will of the people is at the heart of our democracy, even if we find those results hard to accept,’ said Biden – alluding to Trump’s refusal to concede or accept the results. Viewers noted his worrisome cough throughout his speech
Earlier this month Biden fractured his foot while playing with his Germany Shepherd Major and was seen out using a black medical boot on his right foot. Biden pictured showing off his medical boot on December 1 in Wilmington, Delaware
‘The Trump campaign brought dozens and dozens of legal challenges .. they were heard again and again. And each of the times they were heard they were found to be without merit,’ he said.
He noted his own Electoral College win equaled Trump’s, and at the time, ‘President Trump called the electoral college tally a landslide. By his own standards these numbers represented a clear victory then, and I respectfully suggest they do so now.’
He spoke of the nation’s founding, adding: ‘And we now know, nothing, not even a pandemic, or an abuse of power can extinguish that flame.’
His speech was an effort to establish the legitimacy of the election.
It came as a group of influential Republican senators including Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota Ohio’s Sen. Rob Portman finally began referring to him as ‘president-elect.’
‘In America, politicians don’t take power. People grant power to them,’ Biden said.
He praised ‘courageous state and local officials and election workers’ – a hat tip not only to those who staffed the voting despite the coronavirus, but to Republican officials who withstood Trump’s repeated claims that they take actions to overturn the vote in their states.
Biden with his wife Dr. Jill Biden before delivering his remarks at the Queen Theatre in Wilmington, Delaware
He said they showed ‘absolute courage’ and a ‘deep and unwavering faith in, and commitment to, the law.’
‘And they could not and would not give credence to what they knew was not true.’
Although he didn’t name them, officials such as Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffesnperger withstood intense pressure from Trump and his allies to try to influence the outcome.
‘It was truly remarkable because so many of these patriotic Americans were subjected to so much: enormous political pressure, verbal abuse, and even threats of physical violence. While we all wish that our fellow Americans in these positions will always show such courage and commitment to free and fair elections, I hope we never again see anyone subjected to the kind of threats and abuse we saw in this election. It is unconscionable,’ said Biden.
‘The Court sent a clear signal to President Trump and his allies that they would be no part of this unprecedented assault on our democracy,’ he added.
He pointed to former Homeland Security cybersecurity Christopher Krebs, who called the election ‘the most secure in American history’ before he got fired.
The president-elect also took repeated shots at the Kraken lawsuits that Trump and his allies vowed would change the result.
Symbolic moment: Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill were both electors in New York state, traveling to Albany to cast their ballots for Joe Biden as the Electoral College confirmed his victory
2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton (left) and former President Bill Clinton (right) cast their ballots for President-elect Joe Biden in New York Monday, as part of the state’s Electoral College electors
‘In America, when questions are raised about the legitimacy of any election, those questions are resolved through a legal process. And that is precisely what happened here. The Trump campaign brought dozens and dozens and dozens of legal challenges to test the results. They were heard. And they were found to be without merit,’ said Biden.
‘Time and again, President Trump’s lawyers presented their arguments to state officials, state legislatures, state and federal courts, and ultimately to the United States Supreme Court, twice. They were heard by more than 80 judges across the country. And in every case, no cause or evidence was found to reverse or question or dispute the results,’ he said.
Nor did recounts make a difference.
‘The results in Georgia were counted three times,’ he said. ‘It did not change the outcome. The recount conducted in Wisconsin actually saw our margin grow. The margin we had in Michigan was fourteen times the margin President Trump won the state by four years ago.’
Biden chose Monday to speak following to crucial developments: the formal meeting of the Electoral College, and the Supreme Court swatting down a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of Texas seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.
‘And yet none of this has stopped baseless claims about the legitimacy of the results,’ he said.
‘Even more stunning, 17 Republican Attorneys General and 126 Republican Members of Congress actually signed on to a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas.
Electoral College electors in Georgia, a state the flipped from red to blue, cast their 16 votes for Biden
In Vermont, elector Kesha Ram fills out her presidential ballot at the statehouse in Montpelier
Electors in Tennessee met Monday to cast Electoral College votes. Tennessee’s votes went to Trump
New Hampshire’s electors met Monday to cast the state’s four votes in favor of Biden
Electors in Arkansas get sworn in Monday. Arkansas’ six electoral votes will go to Trump
‘This legal maneuver was an effort by elected officials in one group of states to try to get the Supreme Court to wipe out the votes of more than twenty million Americans in other states and to hand the presidency to a candidate who lost the Electoral College, lost the popular vote, and lost each and every one of the states whose votes they were trying to reverse,’ he said, pointing to Trump’s multiple defeats.
‘It’s a position so extreme we’ve never seen it before. A position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law, and refused to honor our Constitution. Thankfully, a unanimous Supreme Court immediately and completely rejected this effort,’ he said.
With polls showing substantial numbers of Americans doubting the legitimacy of the vote amid Trump’s constant attacks, Biden pointed repeatedly to the numbers of the victory by himself and running-mate Kamala Harris.
‘More than 81 million of those votes were cast for me and Vice President-elect Harris,’ Biden said. ‘This too is a record number. More votes than any ticket has received in the history of America.’
‘It represented a winning margin of more than 7 million votes over the number of votes cast for President Trump and Vice President Pence. Altogether, Vice President-elect Harris and I earned 306 electoral votes — well exceeding the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory,’ he said.
History gave him a handy number to cite. ‘306 electoral votes is the same number of electoral votes Donald Trump and Mike Pence received in 2016. At that time, President Trump called his Electoral College tally a landslide. By his own standards, these numbers represented a clear victory then. And I respectfully suggest they do so now.’
He called the results ‘numbers so big that this election now ranks as the clearest demonstration of the true will of the American people — one of the most amazing demonstrations of civic duty we’ve ever seen in our country. It should be celebrated, not attacked,’ said Biden.
Biden looked back to early early 2017, when as outgoing vice president and president of the Senate, he certified the results of Trump’s victory, which devastated Hillary Clinton and Democrats.
‘I did my job,’ he said.
‘Now it is time to turn the page as we’ve done throughout our history. To unite. To heal,’ he intoned.
Biden also referenced his ‘soul of America’ campaign theme.
‘In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,’ he said. ‘The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a lot time ago. And we now know that nothing – not even a pandemic – or an abuse of power – can extinguish that flame.’
Biden’s Electoral College win became official just before 5:30 p.m. Monday, with California’s votes pushing him over the 270 vote threshold.
With California’s vote in, Biden stood at 302 Electoral College votes, with 306 expected, compared to Trump’s 232.
Ten minutes later, Trump tweeted that he had a ‘very nice meeting’ with Attorney General Bill Barr and announced Barr was leaving the administration.
Trump had been fuming all weekend over Barr not exposing that federal authorities were investigating Biden’s son Hunter’s taxes before the November 3 election.
And on Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended yet another Trump lawsuit against the results there, another defeat for the president who has seen dozens of lawsuits struck down since voting went against him.
Biden’s victory saw him take 81,282,376 votes compared to Trump’s 74,222,576 in the popular vote – although until Monday, Trump was usually the one making repeat references to his vote total.
Among the electors who cast their votes Monday were Hillary and Bill Clinton who are Electoral College electors in New York. Also, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, widely credited for Biden’s win in the state.
Once the vote is counted, the results will be sent to Washington and tallied in a January 6 joint session of Congress over which Vice President Mike Pence will preside.
The electors’ votes have drawn more attention than usual this year because Trump has refused to concede the election and continues to make baseless allegations of fraud.
All through Monday, he continued to tweet wild allegations.
Answering a question posed by Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on twitter, ‘Why did the Swing States stop counting in the middle of the night?’ Trump replied, ‘Because they waited to find out how many ballots they had to produce in order to steal the Rigged Election.’
‘They were so far behind that they needed time, & a fake ‘water main break’, to recover!’ Trump said.
A water leak occurred at a site in Georgia, but a top Republican election official said it had no impact on the vote tally.