President Joe Biden emerged from a five-day-long isolation period in the White House residence after he tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Presidential physician Kevin O’Connor said Biden was tested for the virus Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning, with both tests returning negative results. O’Connor said on Wednesday that Biden’s COVID-19 symptoms have “almost completely resolved” for a second consecutive day.
"I’ll now be able to return to work in person," Biden told staffers and reporters gathered in the White House Rose Garden.
He said the treatments that protected him are widely available to the public.
"You can now prevent most COVID deaths," Biden said. "And that’s because of three free tools my administration has invested in and distributed this past year: booster shots; at-home tests; easy-to-use, effective treatments. We’ve got through COVID with no fear -- I got through it with no fear. A very mild discomfort because of these essential, lifesaving tools."
Biden drew a contrast to his bout with COVID to that of President Donald Trump's.
"When my predecessor got COVID, he had to get helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center," Biden said. "He was severely ill. Thankfully, he recovered. When I got COVID, I worked from upstairs of the White House -- in the offices upstairs... The difference is vaccinations, of course, but also three new tools free to all and widely available. You don’t need to be a president to get these tools used for your defense."
After delivering brief remarks, Biden entered the Oval Office for the first time in nearly a week.
O’Connor said Biden has remained fever-free and discontinued the use of Tylenol on Monday. Biden also took his final dose of COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid on Monday.
"We’ve moved quickly to make it widely available, including the thousands of convenient test-to-treat sites where you can get tested and, if you need it, Paxlovid is at -- ready right then and there when you make your visit," Biden said.
Biden will continue to wear a mask when in proximity to others.
Acknowledging the possibility of a rebound case, O’Connor said Biden would be tested for COVID-19 more frequently in the coming days. Mild cases of COVID-19 have been reported among some after ending Paxlovid treatment.
Late last week, O'Connor reported that Biden had mild symptoms, and his temperature peaked at 99.4 degrees.