Joe Biden feeling ‘much better’ but Covid symptoms persist

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden is feeling “much better” after testing positive for Covid-19, the White House said.

Mr Biden tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning and has been isolating in the White House since then.

Dr Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response co-ordinator, told Face The Nation on CBS on Sunday: “It is the BA.5 variant… but thank goodness our vaccines and therapeutics work well against it, which is why I think the president’s doing well.

“I checked in with his team late last night. He was feeling well. He had a good day yesterday. He’s got… an upper respiratory infection and he’s doing just fine. We haven’t gotten any updates this morning, but throughout the night he was feeling much, much better.”

The BA.5 variant is an off-shoot of the Omicron strain of coronavirus that emerged late last year.

It is believed responsible for the vast majority of coronavirus cases in the US.

Administration officials have emphasised that his symptoms are mild because he has received four vaccine doses, and he started taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid after becoming infected.

Dr Kevin O’Connor, the president’s doctor, wrote in his latest update on Saturday that the president’s earlier symptoms, including a runny nose and a cough, had become “less troublesome”, but Mr Biden now has body aches and a sore throat.

Dr Jha pledged that the White House will keep giving updates on the president’s condition and whether he might have long-term symptoms.

“We think it’s really important for the American people to know how well their president is doing,” he said.

“Obviously if he has persistent symptoms, obviously if any of them interfere with his ability to carry out his duties, we will disclose that early and often with the American people.

“But I suspect that this is going to be a course of Covid that we’ve seen in many Americans who have been fully vaccinated, double-boosted, getting treated with those tools in hand.

“The president’s been doing well and we’re going to expect that he’s going to continue to do so.”

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