CNN anchor Jake Tapper tossed the first question at Sunday’s Democratic debate to frontrunner Joe Biden. Tapper asked the former vice president about coronavirus; Biden responded with a cough.
“What do you say to the American people who are confronting this new reality?” inquired Tapper.
“First of all, my heart goes out to those…” replied Biden, stopping mid-sentence to cough into his hand, “who have already lost someone and those who are suffering from the virus.”
Video of Biden coughing while answering a question about the coronavirus within minutes of the CNN debate starting. pic.twitter.com/hLmezArlGw
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 16, 2020
On Saturday, Biden’s campaign said he had not been tested for the Wuhan virus, citing his lack of a cough as one reason for that decision. “Vice President Biden has no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath or other symptoms consistent with coronavirus, and the campaign has not been informed of or become aware of any relevant contact with an individual who has tested positive,” Team Biden said in a statement.
Biden, 77, coughed repeatedly during the early moments of Sunday’s debate. President Trump tested negative for the virus. Neither Biden nor rival Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders have been tested. On Sunday, Boston Herald columnist Adriana Cohen noted, “Sanders and Biden both septuagenarians clocking in at a combined 155 years, are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their advanced age. Now adding to the risk factor are the thousands of people both candidates have come into close contact with on the campaign trail the past few months.”