Viewers of Biden's Post-Electoral Vote Speech Concerned About His Coughing

President-elect Joe Biden coughed and cleared his throat multiple times during a Monday speech about his victory in the electoral college, leading some social media users to comment about the interruptions.

Biden obtained 306 votes in the electoral college on Monday, more than the 270 votes needed to be certified as the next U.S. President. Biden at times sounded hoarse and excused himself after a few small audible coughs during his address acknowledging his victory.

"Jeez! Somebody hand him a glass of water!" tweeted filmmaker and activist Michael Moore.

Jeez! Somebody hand him a glass of water!

— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) December 15, 2020

"Joe Biden had a hard time delivering his speech with a throat problem," tweeted conservative journalist Bill O'Reilly. "He would have been wise to say he will look into election fraud allegations to reassure angry voters. He did not. Lost opportunity."

Joe Biden had a hard time delivering his speech with a throat problem. He would have been wise to say he will look into election fraud allegations to reassure angry voters. He did not. Lost opportunity. Best news analysis on https://t.co/rryWmyXe7C.

— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) December 15, 2020

"To the main theme of the Twitterverse right now: Biden regularly clears his throat and coughs in speeches - especially at the beginning of remarks," wrote NPR political correspondent Scott Detrow. "That's the most sustained coughing I've heard though."

To the main theme of the Twitterverse right now: Biden regularly clears his throat and coughs in speeches - especially at the beginning of remarks. That's the most sustained coughing I've heard though.

— Scott Detrow (@scottdetrow) December 15, 2020

Writer Terry J. Richard pointed out that "Trump sniffles dozen of times during his speeches. At least Biden didn't use illegal dugs to lead to his throat clearing."

Trump sniffles dozens of times during his speeches. At least Biden didn't use illegal dugs to lead to his throat clearing.

— Terry J. Richard (@trichardpdx) December 15, 2020

Some Twitter users argued that the attention focused on Biden's cough was unwarranted.

"Biden cleared his throat at least 17 times tonight in his 14 minute speech!" tweeted Twitter user @luckymama_wife.

"Omg, breaking news: Biden cleated his throat multiple times," @silkie_izzy sarcastically tweeted in response.

Omg, breaking news: Biden cleated his throat multiple times https://t.co/7P1u0GEp16

— Michelle (@silkie_izzy) December 15, 2020

Newsweek reached out to the Biden transition team for comment.

During his address, the president-elect congratulated Americans for voting amid the pandemic.

"In America," he said, "politicians don't take power—the people grant power to them. The flame of democracy was lit in this nation a long time ago. And we now know that nothing, not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame."

Biden encouraged his supporters to cast mail-in ballots for him in order to avoid busy polling places, where the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 could be greater. Trump, who had warned that wide use of mail-in ballots could open the door for widespread voter fraud, expressed a preference for people to vote in person on election day.

Despite Trump's claims that election results had been tainted by the illegal counting of mail-in ballots, evidence of widespread fraud was not discovered. Attorney General William Barr said during a December interview that his investigators had not unveiled "fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election."

joe biden coughs during speech
President-elect Joe Biden stopped multiple times during a Monday speech to clear his throat, prompting a response from some social media users. Drew Angerer/Getty