Biden ‘improving’ but COVID-19 symptoms still persist


WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 22: U.S. President Joe Biden participates virtually in a meeting with his economic team in the South Court Auditorium of the White House campus July 22, 2022 in Washington, DC. On Thursday morning, the White House Press Office announced that U.S. President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — President Joe Biden’s condition since contracting COVID-19 has improved considerably and his symptoms have “almost completely resolved,” his physician said on Monday.

Biden’s cough and body aches have diminished since he tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday and he is not experiencing any shortness of breath and his lungs are clear, the physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a memo released by the White House.

“O’Connor said. Biden’s pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature all were normal.

“His voice remains a bit deep,” O’Connor said.

White House COVID coordinator Ashish Jha said in interviews on “Fox News Sunday” and ABC’s “This Week” that none of Biden’s 17 identified close contacts, including first lady Jill Biden, so far tested positive for the coronavirus.

Biden, 79, has had mild symptoms since his diagnosis, which came as a highly contagious subvariant of the coronavirus drives a new wave of cases in the United States. On Saturday, O’Connor said genomic sequencing found that subvariant, known as BA.5, was likely the cause of Biden’s illness. 

On top of getting vaccinated and receiving two different booster shots, Biden has also received Paxlovid antiviral medication, which doctors say can help someone avoid severe symptoms.

O’Connor said Biden will continue to take Paxlovid and a low-dose aspirin as an alternative type of blood thinner.

Jha told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that Biden had an upper respiratory infection.

The White House has sought to underscore Biden’s ability to work through his illness. On Thursday, it released a video of him reassuring Americans he was doing fine, and on Friday he participated in virtual meetings with White House staff.

The president had no public events over the weekend, and travel plans for the early part of this week have been canceled. He’ll remain in quarantine until Tuesday at the earliest, pending a negative test for him to resume normal activities.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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