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Biden's condition improves 'significantly,' but his throat is still sore from COVID

President Biden talks on the phone with his national security team from the Treaty Room in the residence of the White House on Friday.
Adama Schultz
/
The White House via AP
President Biden talks on the phone with his national security team from the Treaty Room in the residence of the White House on Friday.

The president's symptoms now include a sore throat and body aches, Dr. Kevin O'Connor said. Biden is likely infected with the BA.5 subvariant of omicron.

President Joe Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, says Biden - who tested postive for COVID-19 on Thursday - continues to “improve significantly” despite a lingering sore throat.

Biden is feeling “much, much better.," the White House's COVID coordinator Dr. Ashisha Jha says, “Thank goodness our vaccines and therapeutics work well against it."

Officials have emphasized that Biden's symptoms are mild because he received four vaccine doses and had started taking Paxlovid.

O'Connor said Saturday the president likely became infected with a highly contagious variant, known as BA.5, that's spreading throughout the country, and Jha said Sunday, “It is the BA.5 variant.”

Biden's COVID-19 symptoms now include a sore throat and body aches, in addition to a runny nose and loose cough, according to O'Conner in a letter Saturday.
Still, 'Connor says his primary symptoms are "less troublesome" after a second full day of Paxlovid treatment.

"His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature remain entirely normal," O'Connor writes.

He adds that Biden is "experiencing no shortness of breath at all."

Now the most prevalent coronavirus strain in the United States, BA.5 is four times more resistant to vaccines, according to a new study.

The White House is providing daily written updates from O'Connor on the president's condition while he remains ill.

The president will remain in isolation at the White House through Tuesday. If he tests negative at that point, he could resume normal activities on Wednesday, according to the course of precautions the White House says he's taking.

Biden's illness led to cancellation of his scheduled trip to Florida on Monday. He was slated to appear at events in Orlando and Tampa.

Biden appeared virtually on Friday at a briefing on gas prices with his economic team. His voice was scratchy, but he insisted that he felt better than he sounded. O'Connor noted on Saturday that Biden's voice sounds deep.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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NPR Washington Desk