Biden says he was seen by doctor after debate and is fine

President Biden told Democratic governors that he saw a doctor after his shaky debate performance last week and was given a clean bill of health.

The comments, first reported by Politico, apparently contradict White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who told reporters Tuesday that Biden had not had a medical exam since his February physical.

White House spokesperson Andrew Bates confirmed to The Hill that Biden saw a doctor in the days after last week’s debate to check in about his cold and is now “recovering well.”

The Biden campaign said the president was hampered by a cold during the debate, during which he spoke in a quiet, raspy voice and struggled to string ideas together or rebut former President Trump’s many false statements. His performance has raised concerns among some Democrats about the president’s ability to serve a second term.

Jean-Pierre added Wednesday that Biden still had a “lingering cold” at the time but was overall doing well, saying he’s “ready to go.”

The governors said after meeting with Biden on Wednesday that they were reassured about his campaign and they fully back him.

Biden admitted that he faltered in the debate in a Wisconsin radio interview that aired Thursday.

“I had a bad night,” he said. “I screwed up. I made a mistake. But I learned from my father, when you get knocked down, just get back up. And you know, we’re gonna win this election. We’re gonna just beat Donald Trump as much as we did in 2020.”

Some of the country’s leading media outlets, two House Democrats and others have called for Biden to leave the presidential campaign in the wake of the debate and let a different Democrat take on Trump.

The president argued that voters shouldn’t be put off by his performance in the debate, but instead look at his long record of accomplishments.

“I didn’t have a good debate. That’s 90 minutes on stage,” he said. “Look at what I’ve done in 3 1/2 years.”

The race for the White House remains neck and neck in national polling. Trump has a 0.9 percentage point lead over Biden in The Hill/Decision Desk HQ average of polls.

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