President Joe Biden will reportedly be leaving isolation on Wednesday after testing negative for Covid-19. Covid, it turns out, posed no real problem for the elderly statesman.
The negative test comes after the White House announced on July 21 that Biden had tested positive for the virus. Biden had been working remotely from the White House residence, and on Wednesday returned to the Oval Office
In a letter from White House doctor Kevin O'Connor, he wrote that Biden had, at the time, finished his five-day course of the Covid-19 antiviral drug Paxlovid 36 hours ago, and that on Wednesday morning, had completed five full days of isolation.
"He remains fever-free and he discontinued use of any acetaminophen (TYLENOL) for the past 36 hours," the letter states. "His symptoms have been steadily improving, and are almost completely resolved."
O’Conner wrote that Biden should continue to wear a "well-fitting mask" for 10 days any time he’s around others "to protect any of the Executive Residence, White House, Secret Service and other staff whose duties require any (albeit socially distanced) proximity to him."
He also noted that there is a small change of "rebound" Covid for those treated with Paxlovid, so the president will "increase his testing cadence."
On Wednesday morning, Biden tweeted out his negative Covid test with the phrase, "back to the Oval."
In a speech on Wednesday morning regarding his negative test, Biden pushed the nation to take precautions as the new Covid-19 variant, BA5, moves through the population.
Biden used the speech to push the importance of getting boosted, at-home tests, and the anti-viral drug Paxlovid.
"My recovery was quick and I'm feeling great. The entire time I was in isolation I was able to work, to carry out the duties of the office and without any interruption. It's it's a real statement on where we are in the fight against Covid-19," said Biden.
"Right now, we're we are facing a new variant, the BA5 variant, a very transmissible version of the omicron variant we saw here this past winter. In fact, this new variant, that infected me is getting a lot of people infected all around the world, not just here in the United States. We should take precautions to try to slow the spread of this virus," he continued.
Biden said that his administration has made billions of dollars in funding available to improve ventilation in public buildings, make testing widely available, and provided high-quality masks for the public free of charge.
"These precautions add an extra layer of protection for you and for those around you. But the reality is that BA5 means many of us are still going to get Covid even if we take the precautions. That doesn't mean we're doing anything wrong," he said.
"Unfortunately, this Covid is still with us, as it has been for two and a half years. But our fight against Covid is making a huge difference. What's different now is our ability to protect ourselves from serious illness due to Covid. In fact, that's radically different today than it was just a year ago. Covid isn't gone, but even with cases climbing in this country, Covid deaths are down nearly 90 percent," Biden said.
Biden continued on to note "three free tools" the administration has provided to fight back against Covid.
The first of which is boosters, to which Biden said, "every person aged five and over should get a booster shot."
The second of these tools is widespread free testing provided by the government. "Now, everyone in America can get them for free. shipped to their door. Shipped to their door. There's no excuse."
The third and final offering, which Biden took himself, was the availability of the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
"Here's the bottom line. When my predecessor got Covid, he had to get helicopter to Walter Reed Medical Center. He was severely ill, thankfully he recovered. When I got COVID I worked from upstairs of the White House in the offices upstairs for the five day period. The difference is vaccinations of course, but also three new tools free to all and widely available. You don't need to be president to get these tools used for your defense," Biden said.
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