Hoarse Joe Biden ‘feeling better than I sound’ after Covid diagnosis

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Covid-19 symptoms left US President Joe Biden with a raspy voice and cough as he met virtually with his top economic team, though he insisted: “I feel much better than I sound.”

White House officials said Mr Biden is working more than eight hours a day despite his diagnosis, and his appetite has not diminished – he showed off an empty plate with some crumbs when speaking with his advisers on a video conference call.

He signed Bills into law and took part in his daily intelligence briefings, albeit by phone, the White House said.

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“He’s still doing the job of the president,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “That does not end.”

Hoarse Biden ‘feeling better than I sound’ after Covid diagnosisHoarse Biden ‘feeling better than I sound’ after Covid diagnosis
Hoarse Biden ‘feeling better than I sound’ after Covid diagnosis

It was all part of a diligently-choreographed effort by the administration to depict a commander-in-chief who has not relinquished his day job, despite testing positive for Covid on Thursday and being sent into isolation at the White House residence.

As he beamed into a virtual meeting from the Treaty Room, Mr Biden took off a mask and sipped water as he began discussing the decline in petrol prices in recent weeks.

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Reporters were allowed to view a few minutes of the proceedings and, when they asked how Mr Biden was feeling, he flashed a thumb’s up – although he was audibly hoarse and coughed a handful of times.

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The president’s doctors said his mild Covid symptoms are improving and he is responding well to treatment.

He had an elevated temperature on Thursday, but that went down with a dose of paracetamol, doctors said. Mr Biden also used an inhaler a few times.

The president completed his first full day of Paxlovid, the antiviral therapy treatment meant to reduce the severity of Covid, and his primary symptoms are a runny nose, fatigue and a loose cough.

Other metrics, such as pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation are normal, his personal doctor said.

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White House Covid response co-ordinator Dr Ashish Jha said: “The president right now feels well enough to continue working, and he has continued to work at a brisk pace.”

He said Mr Biden will remain in isolation in the White House living quarters for five days and then be tested again. He plans to return to in-person work once he tests negative.

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