Washington — One after another, President Biden hugged them and kissed them.
Mr. Biden at a packed ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 7th Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The highest civilian honor in the country, 16 Americans, some in the 80’s or 90’s. After reaching for his hand to hang a medal on his neck, the president hugged most of them, shook hands with a few, and gave three smooth cheeks.
Biden, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, is unlikely to have been infected with the coronavirus during the event. However, the fact that the celebration took place emphasizes how much the White House has dropped most of the extraordinary measures it once took to protect the Commander-in-Chief from the illness that killed more than a million Americans. doing.
Initially, Mr. Biden was the president of the bubble and ruled the country primarily by zooming in the presidential office. He rarely traveled. He rarely met in person. And most of the office ritual traps, such as the medal ceremony, were canceled or postponed, and the victims of the blockade were considered necessary to stop the spread.
But like many other Americans, Biden has been loose in the last few months. Protected by multiple doses of the vaccine, the president and his aides changed their risk assessment and began living with the coronavirus.
“Whether you’re the President of the United States, going to school, going to work, doing what you love, being with someone we love, whatever you are, forever. Cannot be postponed to, “said Andy Slavit. Early in the Biden administration, he advised the White House on Covid-19’s response.
“It’s a disease that occurs as often as a common cold, but with far more serious consequences,” Slavit said. It is a much more unpleasant intermediate state for people to adapt. “
Inside the West Wing, there was no doubt that Mr. Biden would eventually get sick. By this week, many people around him already had: Vice President Kamala Harris. Jen O’Mary Dillon, his Deputy Chief of Staff. Karine Jean-Pierre, his spokesman. Several ministers, including the Attorney General. The second gentleman, Douglas Emhoff. Jen Psaki, his former spokesman — twice.
On Friday, Mr Biden’s doctor said his symptoms had improved. According to Dr. Kevin O Connor, in a letter released Friday, the president had a temperature of 99.4 degrees Celsius late Thursday night. He wrote that Mr. Biden was still experiencing a runny nose and malaise and was “occasionally unproductive and now has a” loose “cough.”
“His voice will be deeper than this morning,” writes Dr. O’Connor. “His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation remain perfectly normal in the room air.”
The deeper tone of Mr. Biden’s voice was prominent on Friday when he attended a video briefing on falling gas prices. Mr. Biden repeatedly cleared his throat and heard a cough during his remarks.
Dr. Ashish K. Jha, coordinator for the administration’s Covid-19 response, said Biden’s 99.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday was not considered a low-grade fever by the White House and fell “in the normal range.” However, he added that he was unaware of Mr. Biden’s temperature recorded on Friday morning.The White House mentioned Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention It states that a person is considered to have a fever “when he or she has a measured temperature of 100.4 degrees” or feels warm to the touch.
However, in his letter, Dr. O’Connor said he did not feel that the president’s temperature of 99.4 was normal until Mr. Biden responded to taking Tylenol. Dr. Ja said later on Friday that it is common for doctors to report the patient’s maximum temperature, even if it is not a fever.
“He raised the temperature to 99.4 ° F yesterday evening, which responded favorably to acetaminophen (Tylenol),” wrote Dr. O’Connor. “Since then, his temperature has remained normal.”
Dr. Ja said Dr. O’Connor did not prescribe Tylenol for body temperature, but for Mr. Biden’s “discomfort.” Dr. Ja declined to say what discomfort the president was experiencing. Authorities state that he has no sore throat or headache, and he does not indicate that he has other pain or pain.
The White House spent a very long time this week showing that Mr. Biden’s work life was not dramatically affected by his diagnosis.
The White House’s Twitter account posted three photos of the president working at the White House’s residential desk. One can see him talking on the phone. In another example, he has signed a law aimed at giving people more access to infant formula.
Biden was elected not a little because he persuaded voters to curb the pandemic and believe that the country could be reopened.
In the last 18 months, Biden has achieved many of his goals. With the widespread availability of vaccines and treatments, most communities have reopened stores, bars, sports facilities and schools. There are few mask obligations that are still in place.
Biden is currently traveling abroad (he shook hands with many world leaders during his trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia last week). He hosts political events across the country, flies on Air Force One and rides on motorcades. In addition, face-to-face events at the White House are held weekly.
But the pandemic isn’t over.
According to the CDC, most of the country is currently classified as a region with a high infection rate in the community. The latest predominant Omicron subvariant, BA.5, is much more contagious than the original coronavirus, but doctors say the vaccine remains effective in preventing hospitalization and death.
So Biden has to walk carefully, like all the other Americans he wants to do with Covid-19, despite keeping an eye out for the possibility of a pandemic reoccurring. Indicates that there is.
The White House sought to do so on Friday by using the president’s diagnosis as a case study of why Americans should be vaccinated and boosted.
“We are in a much better place than 18 months before the president took office,” said Dr. Jha, who says that the current death toll from about 400 Covid-19 people per day is “unacceptable.” I added. He also added a strict warning.
“This virus will stay with us forever,” he said.