Biden has upper respiratory infection but ‘doing just fine’ says White House pandemic coordinator

White House Covid Response Coordinator Ashish Jha speaks about President Joe Biden’s positive COVID-19 test during a briefing at the White House, Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Washington. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre listens at left. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Biden is “doing just fine” as of last night as he weathers COVID-19, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha said Sunday.

“I checked in with his team late last night. He was feeling well. He had a good day yesterday. He’s got a viral syndrome, an upper respiratory infection, that is, and he’s doing just fine,” Jha told host Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The president tested positive for the virus Thursday. The White House has said he is experiencing mild symptoms in the days since, according to his physician Kevin O’Connor.

The White House announced in a letter Sunday morning that Biden was likely infected with omicron subvariant BA.5, which Jha explained now accounts for around 80 percent of infections.

Jha said medical officials are unable to determine if Biden’s infections with have longer-lasting effects on his health. At 79 years old, Biden is at a high risk of severe illness from the virus. Some of his medications have been halted while he is administered Paxlovid to treat the virus.

“Obviously, if he has persistent symptoms, obviously, if any of them interfere with his ability to carry out his duties, we will — we will disclose that early and often with the American people,” Jha said.

“But I suspect this is going to be a course of COVID that we’ve seen in many Americans who have been fully vaccinated, double boosted, getting treated with those tools in hand. You know, the president has been doing well, and we’re gonna expect that he’s going to continue to do so,” he added.

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