Doctors Report That Biden’s Covid-19 Symptoms Continue to Improve!
President Joe Biden continues to “improve significantly” after testing positive for the coronavirus Thursday, his physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said Sunday.
According to a letter released by O’Connor, Biden was experiencing no shortness of breath or reduced oxygen levels, and his main symptom Sunday was a sore throat — a result of the immune response. O’Connor added that Biden would continue to isolate but that he “is responding to therapy as expected.”
Officials had said Biden first began experiencing symptoms — including a slight fever, a runny nose, and a dry cough — on Wednesday. But Sunday, O’Connor said those had “diminished considerably.”
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Biden’s illness was caused by BA.5, an omicron subvariant that is now responsible for 75–80 percent of new coronavirus cases in the United States.
Jha also told ABC’s “This Week” that none of Biden’s 17 close contacts had tested positive for the virus as of late Saturday.
After announcing last week that Biden had contracted the virus, officials said he would isolate in the White House for at least five days, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the days since, officials have repeatedly described Biden’s symptoms as “mild” and stressed that he has been able to continue working, in no small part because of his having received all recommended vaccine doses.
“I think this will be a course of COVID that we’ve seen in many Americans who have been fully vaccinated, double boosted, and treated with these tools,” Jha said. “You know, the president has been doing well, and we think he will continue to do well.”
In addition to the vaccine, Biden, who is 79, has also been given Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that helps prevent serious illness. People over 65, who are in a high-risk group, are specially protected by it.
“Thank goodness our vaccines and therapeutics work well against it, which is why I think the president’s doing well,” Jha said.
Biden’s illness comes at the same time that BA.5 has caused another wave of infections across the U.S., including in a lot of people who are vaccinated and just got over a COVID-19 infection. BA.5, which is thought to be the most contagious variant so far, has been the most common type in the US for a few weeks. Since then, COVID-19 hospitalizations have gone up by more than 15% in the last 14 days.
So far, Biden’s case doesn’t seem to have had a big effect on his work schedule. However, public health officials took advantage of the situation to urge those who have been infected to get enough rest and to urge those who haven’t been vaccinated to get the shot to prevent serious illness.
“It’s a reminder to everyone,” Jha said at a news conference Thursday after the announcement about Biden. “If you are over the age of 50 and if you’ve not gotten a vaccine shot in the year 2022, you need to go get one. You need to go get one now because it will dramatically improve your level of protection.”