Why does Joe Biden cough so much and what is gastroesophageal reflux disease?

PRESIDENT Joe Biden's health concern rumors resurface after he was again seen repeatedly coughing during a televised address.

Biden has said that he suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as acid reflux, and was coughing during a speech on December 21, 2021 about the Omicron variant.

Why does Joe Biden cough so much?

As he revealed his plans to tackle the Covid outbreak in the United States, Biden repeatedly coughed and cleared his throat while asking Americans to "mask up" during his first 100 days in office.

At the time, he vowed to provide better childcare options for working mothers and promised to reopen public schools as safe as possible.

Biden also cleared his throat several times during a December 15 speech as he alluded to Trump's refusal to accept defeat.

But it has since re-emerged that Joe Biden suffers from GERD.

One Twitter user said: "@JoeBiden Incredible, every time Joe Biden talks on CNN he incessantly coughs in his right hand. Despite the fact, he is told not to. I wonder what else he cannot refrain from."

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Another tweeted: "Biden coughs his way through his first speech."

He was also seen coughing during his speech about the Covid variant Omicron on December 21, 2021.

A third wrote: "You ROCKED it, President Biden! Good luck with that cough and hoping the foot heals completely!"

His poor health prompted one Twitter user to plead: "Drink some water, Joe. You're scaring us."

Another asked whether he needed a Covid test, while one concerned person suggested, "someone get Biden some Robitussin stat!!!".

On September 13, Biden fought off a cough and hoarse voice as he spoke from the campus of Long Beach City College, even apologizing at one stage and pausing to take a sip of water.

Biden's seeming discomfort didn't go unnoticed online, with one observer on social media claiming that the president – the oldest ever to be elected – looked "feverish."

"Biden had a nasty cough and looked feverish during his stump speech for Gavin Newsom tonight," Twitch Streamer Austin Frisch insisted on Twitter.

"Does he have COVID?!?! Would they tell us?" he added.

"I wish Joe Biden didn't cough so much during his speeches," added another. "I [love] him but it freaks me out."

Others said they were "hoping" the president's persistent cough was due to just dry air or allergies.

Still, Biden supporter and retired federal worker Beverly Howard wrote that she was "worried" by Biden's spluttering.

As was journalist Kim Masters, who said: "I'm not loving Biden's cough at this rally."

What is gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Gastrooesophageal reflux disease causes people to cough and clear their throat more.

It is a common condition that causes by acid from the stomach leaks up into the esophagus (gullet).

It usually occurs due to the ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus becoming weakened.

Douglas Drossman, MD, founder of Drossman Gastroenterology. said: 

“GERD is a disease where gastric acid flows backwards from the stomach into the esophagus and causes damage in the lining,” Drossman explains. “

"The damage can be irritation, erosions or even ulcers. When the symptoms are prolonged, it can cause scarring and strictures.”

What are the symptoms?

The common symptoms of GERD include:

  • Chest pain.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid.
  • A sensation of a lump in your throat.
  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn)
  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngitis
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Disrupted sleep

How long has Joe Biden suffered from gastroesophageal reflux?

In December 2019, the President-elect's doctor, Kevin C. O'Connor, told The Wall Street Journal that Biden experiences the condition.

It also led to people reminding others that the president-elect has gastroesophageal reflux, which causes symptoms of "having to clear his throat more often."

At the time, Biden's doctor wrote in a December 2019 medical evaluation that it was not considered a sign of significant illness.

But the Democrat also said during the live stream that it was just a minor illness.

"Thank you, I have a little bit of a cold. I'm sorry but look, you know, you did it, you did it – not a joke," he added.

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