Hoarse Joe Biden ‘feeling better than I sound’ after Covid diagnosis

Covid-19 symptoms left US President Joe Biden with a raspy voice and cough as he met virtually with his top economic team, though he insisted: “I feel much better than I sound.”

White House officials said Mr Biden is working more than eight hours a day despite his diagnosis, and his appetite has not diminished – he showed off an empty plate with some crumbs when speaking with his advisers on a video conference call.

He signed Bills into law and took part in his daily intelligence briefings, albeit by phone, the White House said.

“He’s still doing the job of the president,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “That does not end.”

Hoarse Biden ‘feeling better than I sound’ after Covid diagnosis

It was all part of a diligently-choreographed effort by the administration to depict a commander-in-chief who has not relinquished his day job, despite testing positive for Covid on Thursday and being sent into isolation at the White House residence.

As he beamed into a virtual meeting from the Treaty Room, Mr Biden took off a mask and sipped water as he began discussing the decline in petrol prices in recent weeks.

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Reporters were allowed to view a few minutes of the proceedings and, when they asked how Mr Biden was feeling, he flashed a thumb’s up – although he was audibly hoarse and coughed a handful of times.

The president’s doctors said his mild Covid symptoms are improving and he is responding well to treatment.

He had an elevated temperature on Thursday, but that went down with a dose of paracetamol, doctors said. Mr Biden also used an inhaler a few times.

The president completed his first full day of Paxlovid, the antiviral therapy treatment meant to reduce the severity of Covid, and his primary symptoms are a runny nose, fatigue and a loose cough.

Other metrics, such as pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation are normal, his personal doctor said.

White House Covid response co-ordinator Dr Ashish Jha said: “The president right now feels well enough to continue working, and he has continued to work at a brisk pace.”

He said Mr Biden will remain in isolation in the White House living quarters for five days and then be tested again. He plans to return to in-person work once he tests negative.