- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 27, 2022

President Biden emerged from COVID-19 isolation Wednesday after five days of self-quarantine to declare the disease is now manageable despite a nationwide uptick in infections.

Mr. Biden said his symptoms were mild, his recovery was quick and that he’s “feeling great.”

“It’s a real statement on where we are in the fight against COVID-19,” Mr. Biden said in the White House Rose Garden. “COVID isn’t gone, but even with cases climbing in this country, COVID deaths are down nearly 90% [from] when I took office.”

He drew a contrast between his illness and that of former President Donald Trump, who had to be flown to a military hospital when he was infected in the pre-vaccine era in 2020.

“He was severely ill. Thankfully, he recovered. When I got COVID, I worked upstairs in the White House,” Mr. Biden said. “The difference is vaccinations of course.”

He said the U.S. also has booster shots, noting he got a second booster and did not see severe disease despite being 79 years old.

SEE ALSO: Biden taps unspent COVID funds to combat skyrocketing home prices

He urged people to avail themselves of virus tests the U.S. Postal Service will ship to residences for free. He also said Paxlovid, an antiviral pill from Pfizer that’s available to high-risk individuals, is free and “easy to take.”

“You don’t need to be president to get these tools,” Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden ended his five-day isolation on Wednesday after twice testing negative for COVID-19, said the president’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor.

Dr. O’Connor said Mr. Biden remains fever-free without the help of pain relievers and his symptoms are basically gone.

“Given these reassuring factors, the president will discontinue his strict isolation measures,” Dr. O’Connor said in his daily memo on the president’s condition.

He said Mr. Biden will continue to wear a well-fitting mask when he is around others until Day 10 from his positive test.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge people to wear a mask until Day 10 after completing five days of isolation.

The CDC says individuals should wear a mask during the precautionary period when they “are around others inside your home or in public.”

Mr. Biden wore a mask when he came out of the White House but took it off once he was at the lectern and further away from others.

“Now, I get to go back to the Oval Office, thank you very much,” he said at the end of his remarks.

Dr. O’Connor said the medical team will monitor Mr. Biden for any signs of Paxlovid “rebound,” in which individuals who complete a course of the Pfizer antiviral drug see a reemergence of symptoms.

“The president will increase his testing cadence, both to protect people around him and to assure early detection of any return of viral replication,” the doctor wrote.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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