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Biden’s Covid-19 symptoms ‘almost completely resolved,’ doctor says


CNN

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 symptoms have “almost completely resolved,” his physician said in an update Monday, as the President continues to isolate at the White House.

“When questioned, at this point, he only notes some residual nasal congestion and minimal hoarseness,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote.

That is an improvement from the weekend, when O’Connor said Biden suffered from a sore throat, body aches and a loose cough. Seen participating in a virtual meeting on Friday, Biden cleared his throat several times and had a marked rasp to his voice.

O’Connor said Biden’s pulse, respiratory rate and temperature were normal — as they have remained throughout the course of his illness, according to his doctor — and that his oxygen saturation was “excellent” on room air. He has no shortness of breath, O’Connor said.

Biden tested positive for Covid last Thursday, and has been weathering the illness from the White House residence. He canceled plans to travel to Florida this week, but will participate in virtual events Monday.

Inside his residence, Biden has been speaking to advisers by telephone and holding video meetings. But his wife, who tested negative for Covid again on Monday, has been away at their home in Delaware and staff inside the building has been cut down to limit exposure.

Biden, 79, is “specifically conscientious” to protecting residence staff, White House officials and Secret Service personnel from the virus, which has been determined to be the highly transmissible BA.5 variant, O’Connor wrote in his letter. BA.5 is now the predominant strain of the virus in the United States.

Another physician, Covid response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, was set to update reporters on Biden’s condition later Monday. Jha has not been treating the President directly, but has spoken to him over the course of his illness.

O’Connor has yet to directly speak with reporters about the President’s condition and the White House has not provided specifics on Biden’s illness beyond O’Connor’s daily memos.

The White House has sought to underscore that Biden’s symptoms have been mild because he is vaccinated and boosted, and he began a course of the antiviral Paxlovid as soon as he tested positive. O’Connor said in his letter Biden had completed his fourth full day of Paxlovid on Sunday.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who was considered a close contact of Biden’s last week, tested negative for Covid on Monday before traveling to Indiana for an event focused on abortion access.

This story has been updated with additional reporting and background.

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