President Biden said he was feeling fine on Friday, the second day after his positive COVID test, and passed on a message that his vaccinations and booster shots are helping him beat the deadly virus.
“It matters,” Biden said in a brief statement passed on by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
The 79-year-old president had an elevated temperature of 99.4 F on Thursday, but that went down with Tylenol, according to a new note from Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s personal physician. Biden also used an inhaler a few times but hasn’t experienced shortness of breath
He was treated with acetaminophen and responded well, O’Connor said in a letter released to the public.
Biden still has some mild symptoms, including a runny nose, fatigue and a loose cough, according to the president’s doctor. Other metrics, such as pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation were normal, although the White House did not release specific figures.
“The president is doing better,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha, who spoke to the president via video call, said during a Friday briefing with reporters. He noted that Biden was in a good mood, had slept well, ate a full breakfast and lunch and even showed off his empty plate, while joking that his only regret was that, despite being sick, “his appetite had not changed.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said 17 people were determined to have been in close contact with Biden when he might have been contagious, including members of his senior staff. None have tested positive, she said.
Jha said Biden will remain in isolation in the White House living quarters for five days and then be tested again. He plans to return to work once he tests negative.
First Lady Jill Biden said she is experiencing no symptoms and tested negative on Friday. She plans to travel to Wilmington, Delaware for the weekend while Biden stays at the White House.
Jha said Biden’s case was being prioritized, meaning it will likely take less than a week for sequencing to determine which variant of the virus Biden contracted. Omicron’s highly contagious BA.5 substrain is responsible for 78% of new COVID-19 infections reported in the U.S. last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest data.
Biden plans to continue to isolate until he tests negative, the White House said.
With News Wire Services