WASHINGTON — President Biden continues to “improve significantly” after testing positive for the coronavirus on Thursday, his physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said on Sunday.
In line with a letter released by Dr. O’Connor, Mr. Biden was experiencing no shortness of breath or reduced oxygen levels, and his important symptom on Sunday was a sore throat — a results of the immune response. Dr. O’Connor added that the president would proceed to isolate but that he “is responding to therapy as expected.”
Officials had said the president first began experiencing symptoms — including a slight fever, a runny nose and a dry cough — on Wednesday. But on Sunday, Dr. O’Connor said those had “diminished considerably.”
During an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that BA.5 — an Omicron subvariant that now accounts for 75 to 80 percent of latest coronavirus cases in america — caused Mr. Biden’s illness.
Dr. Jha also told ABC’s “This Week” that as of late Saturday, not one of the 17 people deemed to be close contacts of Mr. Biden had tested positive for the virus.
After announcing last week that the president had contracted the virus, officials said he would isolate within the White House for at the least five days as advisable by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the times since, officials have repeatedly described Mr. Biden’s symptoms as “mild” and stressed that he has been capable of proceed working, in no small part due to his having received all advisable vaccine doses.
“I believe that is going to be a course of Covid that we’ve seen in lots of Americans who’ve been fully vaccinated, double boosted, getting treated with those tools in hand,” Dr. Jha said. “You already know, the president has been doing well, and we’re going to expect that he’s going to proceed to achieve this.”
Beyond the protection the vaccine offers, Mr. Biden, 79, has also received Paxlovid, an antiviral medication used to protect against severe illness. It especially protects people in high-risk categories, which incorporates those older than 65.
“Thank goodness our vaccines and therapeutics work well against it, which is why I believe the president’s doing well,” Dr. Jha said.
Mr. Biden’s illness comes as BA.5 has caused yet one more wave of infections across america, including amongst many people who find themselves vaccinated and have recovered from a previous Covid infection relatively recently. BA.5, considered essentially the most transmissible variant to this point, has been dominant in america for several weeks, and since then hospitalizations from Covid have climbed greater than 15 percent over the past 14 days.
While Mr. Biden’s case has to this point not appeared to have greatly disrupted his work schedule, public health officials seized on the chance to implore those that have been infected to get the suitable rest, and to induce those not yet vaccinated to receive the shot to be able to ward off serious illness.
“It’s a reminder to everyone,” Dr. Jha said at a news conference on Thursday after the announcement concerning the president. “For those who are over the age of fifty and should you’ve not gotten a vaccine shot within the 12 months 2022, you could go get one. It is advisable go get one now because it can dramatically improve your level of protection.”