Biden speaks about his negative Covid test and the broader pandemic effort

President Joe Biden spoke in the the White House Rose Garden after testing negative for Covid-19 and ending the strict isolation measures he had been following since contracting the coronavirus last week.

“My symptoms were mild, my recovery was quick and I’m feeling great,” Biden said in a short speech at the before he went back to work in the West Wing. He had been working from the White House residence after contracting Covid last week

Biden’s symptoms “have been steadily improving, and are almost completely resolved,” wrote White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor in a letter released by the White House on Wednesday.

Biden, 79, also discussed where the U.S. stands in its two-year battle against the virus.

“What’s different now is our ability to protect ourselves from serious illness due to Covid. In fact, that’s radically different today than it was just a year ago,” said Biden.

“Covid isn’t gone. But even with cases climbing in this country, Covid deaths are down nearly 90% from when I took office” in January of 2021.

O’Connor wrote in his letter that Biden had completed a five-day course of the antiviral medication Paxlovid, one of several novel treatment options that have contributed to the huge drop in Covid mortality rates.

“This life saving drug reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by about 90%,” Biden said of Paxlovid.

He added that in many places the drug is “free, safe and easy to take. And we’re moving quickly to make it widely available.”