Covid-stricken Joe Biden coughs and gives thumbs up in virtual appearance

President Joe Biden gives thumbs when reporters asked how he was feeling during virtual meeting (Pictures: AP/Reuters)

A day after , President made an unplanned virtual appearance in which he spoke after a phlegmy cough and flashed a thumbs up.

Biden, 79, spoke on short notice on Friday afternoon about gas prices in a video feed from the second-floor White House residence, as reporters watched from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

‘Let me start by apologizing for my voice, I’m feeling much better than I sound,’ the president said.

Biden, in a lower voice than usual, said: ‘Gas prices have fallen every day this summer – for 38 days in a row. You know, you can find gas for $3.99 or less at more than 30,000 gas stations in more than 35 states.’

The appearance was viewed by some as the White House’s effort to show that Biden is healthy enough to continue leading the country despite contracting Covid-19.

Biden, who is fully vaccinated and twice boosted, tested positive for the virus on Thursday morning. He immediately isolated in the White House and continued his duties through Zoom and phone calls, according to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

Jean-Pierre and the administration’s coronavirus response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha have both said Biden is in good shape, but have dodged questions on why his physician, Dr Kevin O’Connor, isn’t answering questions directly.

On Friday morning, O’Connor wrote that Biden continues to experience mild symptoms even though his history of asthma and age put him at greater risk.

President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and signed legislation while wearing a mask on Friday (Pictures: Twitter/@POTUS)

‘His symptoms remain characterized as rhinorrhea (‘runny nose’) and fatigue, with an occasional non-productive, now ‘loose’ cough,’ wrote O’Connor.

‘His voice is deeper this morning. His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal, on room air.’

Biden stopped taking anticoagulant Eliquis, which is used to prevent strokes in people with an irregular heartbeat, and is instead taking aspirin as a temporary blood thinner, according to O’Connor.

‘The President is tolerating treatment well. We will continue Paxlovid as planned,’ wrote O’Connor

‘His symptoms will be treated with oral hydration, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and the albuterol inhaler that he uses as needed. His apixaban (Eliquis) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) are being held during Paxlovid treatment and for several days after his last dose.’

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