President Joe Biden’s ‘loose cough’ returned on Tuesday, according to his physician’s assessment, as he continued to test positive for COVID-19 some 13 days after first being diagnosed.
It means the 79-year-old remains stuck on the White House complex, isolating from staff and family members.
‘The president continues to feel well, though he is experiencing a bit of a return of a loose cough,’ wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor.
‘He remains fever-free and in good spirits.’
Biden tested negative for COVID twice last week, but tested positive again on Saturday in what O’Connor described as a ‘rebound’ case seen in a small percentage of patients who take the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
It scuppered the president’s plans for a weekend back in Delaware.
But he was able to make a video appearance on Monday, announcing that the U.S. had killed Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri at the weekend.
In his letter, O’Connor said the president would continue his strict isolation.
President Joe Biden’s ‘loose cough’ has returned as he continues to test positive for COVID-19, according to White House physician Dr Kevin O’Connor
O’Connor is providing daily updates on the president’s health while he tests positive for COVID
‘He will continue to conduct the business of the American people from the executive residence, he wrote.
‘As I have stated previously, the president continues to be very specifically conscientious to protect any of the executive residence, White House, Secret Service and other staff whose duties require any (albeit socially distanced) proximity to him.’
A day earlier, the White House said the president continues to have mild ‘lingering symptoms.’
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made the comment after O’Connor said in a letter Biden continues to ‘feel well’ after suffering a rebound case of the virus shortly after testing negative.
‘No reoccurring symptoms – meaning like, if you look at [O’Connor’s] original letter, there’s nothing. There’s nothing severe right? Because he feels fine. He feels he feels good.’
‘But as we know, all of us have had COVID, we do have a little bit of a lingering cough, a little bit of maybe a lingering sniffle. That’s not uncommon to happen, so that’s what we are talking about,’ she said, without specifying the exact nature of the president’s ailments.
‘Many of us have had COVID before and they tend to be lingering symptoms and that’s what I’m talking about,’ White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday, while offering few details about what symptoms the president is experiencing after his ‘rebound’ case
He appears to be doing better than he was following his original diagnosis last month. During Biden’s first round, ‘we had talked about a little fatigue, we talked about aches, you know there was a little bit of discomfort. That has not occurred,’ she said.
Jean-Pierre continued to dance around the exact nature of what the president was going through, while rattling off minor symptoms.
‘And there are some, you know, you still have a dry cough, you still have you know a little sniffles that lasts for a little bit longer,’ she said.
‘Many of us have had COVID before and they tend to be lingering symptoms and that’s what I’m talking about,’ she said, speaking to a press corps that, like much of the country, has seen a series of covid cases during the pandemic.
Pressed on whether Biden was still experiencing some things, she said ‘of course’ he was – and then pointed to Biden’s chronic dry cough, which proceeded his positive tests for covid.
Her remarks drew repeated questions from the press about the precise nature of the president’s symptoms, what he was doing in isolation, and when he would resume travel.