WASHINGTON — Up-to-date vaccination and powerful treatment have combined to help President Biden fight the coronavirus, his personal physician said Monday.
“His symptoms are now almost completely gone,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor in the latest of his daily updates on Biden’s health. “On questioning, he notes only some residual nasal congestion and minimal hoarseness at this point.”
Biden will likely continue to test positive for the coronavirus for several more days. And he will wear a mask in public after his five-day isolation period ends on Tuesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in their COVID-19 guidelines that masks should be worn for five days after the end of isolation.
The president was infected with the highly transmissible BA.5 sub-variant of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus. He was most likely infected early last week or perhaps when he left the Middle East the week before. And he had most likely infected someone else a few days after his symptoms first appeared – that is, late last week.
Biden’s progress indicates that vaccines and therapies are effective in preventing serious and critical illnesses. He is vaccinated and has had two booster shots. And when he learned last Thursday he had tested positive for the coronavirus, he began treatment with Paxlovid, a powerful drug that keeps patients out of the hospital if taken soon after an infection is confirmed.
“The president is still tolerating the treatment well,” O’Connor wrote. “We will continue with PAXLOVID as planned.” He added that the president’s breathing rate and blood oxygen levels were some of the factors that show that he has completely avoided the serious harm that COVID-19 can cause, particularly in older people.
Biden planned to spend the weekend at his Delaware beach house, but instead stayed in Washington as the city broke under a heat wave. It is unclear when he will travel again.