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Biden's Covid symptoms improve but fatigue, congestion remain, doctor says

The White House physician said he anticipates Biden will respond favorably to treatment following the president's Covid diagnosis Thursday.

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s Covid symptoms have improved after finishing his first full day of his treatment on the antiviral Paxlovid though he continues to have a runny nose, fatigue and a “loose” cough, his doctor said Friday in a letter.

Biden had a temperature of 99.4 degrees Thursday night, but the temperature has gone down since taking Tylenol, said White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor. Biden’s pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation “remain entirely normal, on room air,” he wrote.

Biden had several virtual meetings scheduled Friday including his daily intelligence briefing, a meeting with this economic team to discuss gas prices, and a meeting with senior staff to discuss his legislative agenda, the White House said. 

During the virtual briefing on gas prices, Biden sounded hoarse and cleared his throat several times when discussing the drop in gas prices and the steps he plans to take next.

"Let me start by apologizing for my voice, I'm feeling much better than I sound," Biden said. 

When asked by reporters how he was feeling, Biden smiled and gave a thumbs up on the screen.

O’Connor said he continues to anticipate that Biden will respond favorably to the course of treatment after the president tested positive for Covid Thursday morning. The White House said it will continue to provide daily updates on his condition.

“As I stated previously, the President is fully vaccinated and twice-boosted, so I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most maximally protected patients do,” O’Connor wrote. “There has been nothing in the course of the illness thus far which gives me cause to alter that initial expectation.” 

Biden has stopped taking his cholesterol lowering medication Crestor and blood thinner Eliquis as a precaution while on Paxlovid, and Biden is taking a low-dose aspirin as a blood thinner, O’Connor said. 

The White House tweeted a photo of Biden working at a desk on a phone Friday morning, masked and in a suit coat and collared shirt.

First lady Jill Biden has had no symptoms and spent Thursday night at the couple’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, said her spokesman, Michael LaRosa.