Biden 'feeling great' after testing negative for Covid-19 and ending isolation

US president had mild symptoms which steadily improved since his positive test result last week

US President Joe Biden arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington after testing negative for Covid-19. AFP
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US President Joe Biden has tested negative for Covid-19 after becoming infected with the disease last week, his doctor said on Wednesday.

Mr Biden, who tested negative on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday morning, remains free of fever and his symptoms are almost completely resolved, his physician, Dr Kevin O'Connor, said in a memo.

“I've just tested negative for Covid-19 after isolating for five days,” Mr Biden said in remarks from the Rose Garden of the White House.

“My symptoms were mild. The recovery was quick and I'm feeling great.”

He will discontinue his strict isolation measures, the memo released by the White House said.

The president had mild symptoms which steadily improved since his positive test result on Thursday. He will continue to wear a mask for 10 full days when he is around others, Dr O'Connor said.

Mr Biden used his remarks on Wednesday to address the current Covid situation in the US, driven by the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5 subvariant that is now dominant in the country.

“This new variant that affected me is getting a lot of people infected all around the world, not just here in the United States,” he said. “We should take precautions to try to slow the spread of this virus.”

He called on Americans to get vaccinated, boosted if eligible, and to order free tests through the US government.

The president also briefly mentioned work to develop updated Covid-19 vaccines.

He called on Congress to “keep investing in these tools, vaccinations, treatments, tests and more so we can help make them available to Americans on a permanent basis”.

Mr Biden, 79, is the second serving US president to catch Covid-19, after Donald Trump came down with the virus before the 2020 election.

Whereas Mr Trump caught the virus before vaccines were available and ended up in hospital for three days, Mr Biden is fully vaccinated with the Pfizer shot, has had two boosters and was given the antiviral drug paxlovid, which can further shorten the disease's course and reduce the risk of hospital admission.

More than one million people have died of Covid-19 in the US.

Updated: July 27, 2022, 4:13 PM
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