Biden to continue taking antiviral drug for COVID-19, responding well to therapy

President Joe Biden is seen during a virtual meeting in the South Court Auditorium on the White House last Friday. Biden’s physician said Monday that the president continues to respond well to treatment. Photo by Rod Lamkey/UPI | License Photo

July 25 (UPI) — President Joe Biden’s symptoms are nearly gone but he will continue taking antiviral medication as he recovers from COVID-19, the White House said Monday.

“The president continues to do well,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters at a news conference Monday afternoon.

“He was feeling good this weekend, continues to improve.”

In a letter, Biden’s doctor said the president continues to tolerate treatment well and will continue taking the antiviral treatment Paxlovid as planned.

“You might have heard a little hoarseness in his voice, which Dr. (Kevin) O’Connor said is one of the few residual symptoms remaining,” said Karin Jean-Pierre

“He continues to respond well to Paxlovid after his fourth day of treatment last night. The president is doing quite well and continues to be engaged in the work in front of him.”

Biden himself spoke remotely with reporters, answering a few questions shouted at him as he wrapped up his remarks.

“I’m feeling great. I’ve had two full nights of sleep,” Biden said, according to White House pool reports

“I’m feeling good. My voice is still raspy,” Biden added.

The president said he hoped to be back at work in-person at the end of this week but said he was keeping a full schedule.

“Once he has a negative test after day 5, he can end his isolation. CDC guidance suggests that he wears a mask around others,” Jha told reporters asking about Biden’s schedule.

Biden, 79, was diagnosed with the virus last week and has since been taking Paxlovid. O’Connor has given daily updates on the president’s condition.

Biden joined the nearly 90 million U.S. residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 sometime during the pandemic when he was diagnosed last Thursday.

“I don’t know the details of the president’s schedule but I will say the president plans to follow CDC guidelines as we have,” said Jha, when asked if Biden would travel.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a 10-day period of no travel following diagnosis.

O’Connor added in his update Monday that Biden has no shortage of breath, but will remain isolated according to health protocols.

Biden, who is fully vaccinated and double-boosted, was infected with the BA.5 Omicron subvariant, which is more transmissible than other variants.

The seven-day moving average for daily national cases is about 126,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It peaked this year at 713,000 in January and dropped to a low of 25,000 in late March.