Biden’s cough returns on fourth day of COVID ‘rebound’ battle

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WASHINGTON — President Biden’s doctor reported the return of a “loose” cough Tuesday on the fourth day of Biden’s COVID-19 “rebound” infection.

Biden, 79, spoke with a noticeably deeper and gravelly voice when he virtually addressed a computer chip-focused event Tuesday afternoon.

The president completed a five-day regimen of the antiviral Paxlovid last week, but the virus resurfaced in daily testing Saturday after Biden resumed in-person White House engagements for three days.

In a break from historical practice, the White House has not allowed Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, to take reporter questions about the president’s health — despite the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately causes serious illness among older adults like Biden.

Dr. O’Connor wrote in a Tuesday memo that Biden “continues to feel well, though he is experiencing a bit of a return of a loose cough.”

“Given his rebound positivity which we reported Saturday, we continued daily monitoring. This morning, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing remained positive,” O’Connor wrote.

President Biden is battling COVID
Dr. Kevin O’Connor, President Biden’s physician, has reported that the President now has a “loose cough” on the fourth day of his COVID-19 “rebound” infection.
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The doctor also wrote that Biden “remains fever-free and in good spirits” and that his “temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal.”

Biden, the oldest-ever US president, began to experience symptoms on the evening of July 20 and tested positive the following morning, according to prior disclosures from O’Connor.

Biden fell ill less than four days after he returned to Washington from a trip to Saudi Arabia to mend fences with killer Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The White House has sought to tamp down speculation on how Biden might have contracted the virus.

Prominent veteran reporters in the White House press corps have objected to the lack of a direct Q&A with Dr. O’Connor amid Biden’s continued illness.

New York Times reporter Peter Baker tweeted Tuesday that “[Biden’s] doctor has yet to appear in person much less answer questions from reporters, unlike previous White House physicians under previous presidents. The White House has yet to explain why.”

National Journal reporter George Condon, who interviewed 10 US presidents and led the White House Correspondents’ Association in 1993-1994, led the charge for transparency shortly after Biden’s initial diagnosis.

“The question is when will Dr. O’Connor come out? Because to just put out a statement and shield him from questions would be the least transparency of any White House in 50 years on a presidential illness,” Condon said.

President Biden
Biden first tested positive for COVID-19 less than four days after returning home from a trip to Saudi Arabia.
Getty Images
President Biden
President Biden is believed to have contracted a less-lethal Omicron variant of COVID.
AP

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing last week, after being repeatedly pressed on Dr. O’Connor’s absence, that Biden has “had very mild symptoms,” which distinguishes his situation from historical presidential illnesses.

COVID-19 has killed more than 1 million Americans since March 2020, and Biden’s advanced age and history of asthma put him at elevated risk. He received four doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, lowering his risk. Biden is believed to have been infected by the less lethal Omicron variant of the virus.



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