WASHINGTON — U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said he was “feeling great,” as he recovers from COVID-19, and that he expected to end his isolation and return to normal working conditions by the end of the week.
Biden held a virtual event with semiconductor manufacturers and several top administration officials to promote legislation aimed at boosting chip production in the United States. His voice was raspy but he seemed otherwise in good health.
“I’m feeling great. I’ve had two full nights of sleep,” said Biden, who tested positive for the coronavirus last Thursday and has been treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
With wife Jill out of town, Biden said his dog nuzzled him in the chest on Monday morning and woke him up. “I’m feeling good. My voice is still raspy,” he told reporters.
He said he hoped to be back at work in-person at the end of this week but was working a full schedule from the White House residence from about 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a memo released by the White House that the president’s symptoms “have now almost completely resolved.”
“When questioned, at this point he only notes some residual nasal congestion and minimal hoarseness,” O’Connor said.
The White House defended the decision not to allow O’Connor to brief reporters about Biden, who at 79 is the oldest U.S. president.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news briefing that Biden only had mild symptoms and that with vaccines and treatments, a COVID-19 infection was not as serious as it was two years ago.
“He is managing this, he is reacting to the treatment very well,” she said.
In his memo, O’Connor reiterated that Biden’s lungs remained clear and that he was responding well to the treatment. Over the weekend, the physician said Biden’s cough and body aches had diminished and he was not short of breath.
The White House has sought to show Biden working through his illness. On Thursday, it released a video of him reassuring Americans he was doing fine, and on Friday he participated in virtual meetings with White House staff.
The president had no public events over the weekend, and travel plans for the early part of this week were canceled. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Steve Holland, additional reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Chris Gallagher, David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot)