Biden ‘feels great’ and returns to work in person after testing negative for Covid-19 and leaving isolation


President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he was “feeling fine” and was back to work in person after self-isolating at the White House and recovering from what was described as a mild case. of Covid-19.

The president, addressing the nation from the rose garden, credited the vaccines, boosters and antiviral treatment Paxlovid he was prescribed to stave off a severe case of the virus. Biden, 79, is at high risk for a severe case of Covid-19 due to his age.

“I walked through it fearlessly,” Biden said. “A very slight discomfort because of these indispensable life-saving tools. And guess what, I want to remind everyone: they’re free. They’re convenient, they’re safe, and they work.

Biden used the moment to tout his administration’s response to the pandemic and stressed that all the tools he has to fight the virus are also available to every American. He drew a direct contrast to his predecessor, Donald Trump, who tested positive for Covid-19 in October 2020 before vaccines were authorized and received an experimental treatment not available to the general public.

US President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks to Rose Garden staff as he returns from COVID-19 isolation to work in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, US, July 27 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“When my predecessor had Covid, he had to be airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center. He was seriously ill; luckily he recovered. When I had Covid, I worked upstairs in the White House and upstairs offices … for a period of five days,” Biden said.

He continued: “The difference is the vaccinations, of course. But also new three new tools free for all and widely available. You don’t have to be president to get these tools to use in your defense. In fact, the same booster shots, the same home test, the same treatment that I received are available to you. My administration has made sure that all Americans across the country, from all walks of life, have free access to these tools.

Biden took two antigen tests, one Tuesday evening and one Wednesday morning, both of which were negative, his doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, wrote in a memo to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The president will wear a tight-fitting mask for 10 days to prevent the spread of the virus, and he will increase the frequency with which he is tested for a possible resurgence of the virus.

O’Connor cited the potential for the president to experience a “rebound” in his Covid-19 infection after Biden was given the antiviral drug Paxlovid when explaining the more frequent testing. O’Connor noted that there was a small percentage of patients who were treated with Paxlovid who experienced a rebound in their infection.

On Wednesday, Biden continued to urge Americans to get their vaccines and boosters and “take advantage of these vital tools,” as the BA.5 subvariant, another offshoot of the Omicron variant, spreads across the United States. United. He called on Congress to continue allocating funds to make the tools widely available.

“The reality is that BA.5 means many of us will still catch Covid even if we take the precautions,” Biden said. “That doesn’t mean we’re doing anything wrong. Unfortunately, this Covid is still with us as it has been for two and a half years. But our fight against Covid is making a huge difference. What is different now is our ability to protect ourselves against serious illnesses due to Covid.

Biden tweeted a photo of his negative Covid-19 test on Wednesday morning and wrote, “Back to oval. Thanks to Doc for the good care, and to all of you for your support.

From President Biden/Twitter

The president tested positive on Thursday and had mild symptoms including a runny nose, fatigue, a high temperature and a cough, according to his doctor. He continued to recover and work in isolation at the White House residence, and on Tuesday felt well enough to resume training at the executive mansion’s gym.

Biden is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. He received his first two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine before its inauguration in January 2021, his first booster in September and his second booster in March.

The president took a five-day course of Paxlovid, which requires a doctor’s prescription and is available through a US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for the treatment of mild Covid-19. to moderate in people 12 years of age and older who are at high risk of severe disease.

First lady Jill Biden was considered a close contact for the president, but her office says she continues to test negative. Jill Biden is in Wilmington, Delaware. Vice President Kamala Harris was also considered a close contact but continues to test negative. Harris tested positive for Covid-19 in April and her office says she did not experience symptoms.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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