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Biden’s symptoms improve ‘significantly’ following COVID-19 infection, will continue to isolate, doctor says

President Joe Biden’s “symptoms continue to improve significantly” following his COVID-19 infection last week, the president’s physician said in a written update Sunday.

Biden completed his third full day of Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that helps reduce the chance of severe illness, on Saturday night, said Physician to the President Kevin O’Connor.

“His predominant symptom now is sore throat,” O’Connor said. “This is most likely a result of lymphoid activation as his body clears the virus, and it thus encouraging. His rhinorrhea, cough and body aches have diminished considerably.”

O’Connor said that while the president’s voice remains “a bit deep,” Biden’s pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature all remain normal, and he has no shortness of breath. Biden’s oxygen saturation continues to be “excellent” on room air, according to the doctor, and his lungs remain clear.


“The President continues to tolerate treatment well,” O’Connor said, adding that Biden will continue taking Paxlovid as planned while remaining isolated

“As I’ve stated previously, the BA.5 variant is particularly transmissible and he will continue to isolate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations,” O’Connor said. “We will continue to monitor him closely, during this very common outpatient treatment regimen.”

Biden tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday morning. O’Connor said Saturday that the president likely became infected with a highly contagious variant, known as BA.5, that is spreading throughout the country, and Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said Sunday, “It is the BA.5 variant.”

That variant is an offshoot of the omicron strain that emerged late last year. It is believed responsible for the vast majority of coronavirus cases in the country. He has been isolating in the White House residence since then.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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