Biden tests negative for Covid, lifts strict quarantine

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to staff at the Rose Garden as he returns from COVID-19 lockdown to work in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S. July 27, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

the president Joe Biden returned to the Oval Office on Wednesday after five days of strict Covid-19 quarantine, saying he had tested twice negative for the coronavirus in the previous 24 hours.

“My symptoms have been mild, my recovery has been quick, and I feel great,” Biden said in a short speech at the White House before returning to work in the West Wing. He worked at the White House residence after the conclusion of the contract. COVID-19 last week

White House Physician D. Kevin O’Connor wrote in a letter Wednesday that Biden’s symptoms “are steadily improving and have almost completely disappeared.”

Despite the end of the formal isolation period, Biden “continues to be very conscientious to protect any” White House employees, Secret Service agents and others whose duties require proximity to him, O’Connor wrote.

Speaking in the Rose Garden, Biden, 79, highlighted the importance of new Covid treatments that greatly improve the prognosis for those who contract the virus.

“What has changed now is our ability to protect ourselves from serious illness caused by Covid. In fact, today it is radically different from what it was just a year ago,” Biden said.

“Covid has not disappeared. But even with the increase in cases in this country, COVID deaths are down nearly 90% from when I took office” in January 2021.

O’Connor wrote in a letter on Wednesday that Biden received a five-day course of the antiviral drug Paxlovid, one of several new treatment options that have contributed to a huge drop in Covid death rates.

“This life-saving drug reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by about 90%,” Biden said of Paxlovid. He added that in many places the drug is “free, safe and easy to take. And we are rapidly working to make it widely available.”

However, in his letter on Wednesday, O’Connor also wrote that, given the likelihood of a recovery in positive Covid results seen “in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid, the President will increase the frequency of testing.”

The President on Wednesday morning tweeted a photo showing his negative test, with the message: “Back to the Oval. Thank you Doc for the good care and all of you for your support.”

Biden was diagnosed with covid on Thursday.

That day, the White House said the president had “very mild symptoms.” Biden is fully vaccinated and received two booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine.