President Biden Tests Negative for COVID

President Biden Tests Negative for COVID

July 27, 2022 0 By Jennifer Walker

WASHINGTON — President Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday, less than a week after a positive test last Thursday.

“I’ll now be able to return to work in person, but I want to thank you all for your well wishes, your prayers over this past week, and the calls I’ve gotten,” Biden said during a short speech in the White House Rose Garden. “I also want to thank the medical team here at the White House for the incredible care they gave me. Thankfully, my symptoms were mild. My recovery was quick, and I’m feeling great.”

The president was treated with a 5-day course of the antiviral nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (Paxlovid), as well as with acetaminophen and an albuterol inhaler for symptom relief.

He used the speech as an opportunity to remind Americans of the progress made in fighting the virus. “Our fight against COVID is making a huge difference,” he said. “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% from when I took office.”

Because the Omicron BA.5 COVID variant is so transmissible, people should continue to take precautions to slow its spread, Biden said, noting that the administration has allocated billions of dollars to improve ventilation in schools and public buildings, and to make vaccines, masks, COVID tests, and antiviral treatment available free of charge. He urged people to get their COVID booster shots and to take nirmatrelvir/ritonavir if they get infected.

Biden contrasted the course of his illness with that of former president Trump, who had to be hospitalized when he contracted the virus in October 2020. “My predecessor … had to get helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center,” Biden said. “He was severely ill; thankfully, he recovered. When I got COVID, I worked from the upstairs of the White House for the 5-day period. The difference is vaccination, of course,” as well as booster shots, home testing, and nirmatrelvir/ritonavir, he said.

“Let’s keep emerging from one of the darkest moments in our history with hope and light for what can come,” he concluded. “Get vaccinated if you haven’t gotten already. And now get boosted or do your free test; if you get sick and test positive, seek treatment. Take advantage of these life-saving tools … And my friends in Congress, let’s keep investing in these tools — vaccinations, treatments, tests, and more — so we could help making them available to the American people.”

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    Joyce Frieden oversees MedPage Today’s Washington coverage, including stories about Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, healthcare trade associations, and federal agencies. She has 35 years of experience covering health policy. Follow