WASHINGTON — President Biden said on Monday that he was feeling better and sleeping through the night again as he recovered from Covid-19, and he expressed hope that he could return to work in person by the end of the week.
Mr. Biden, who has been participating in meetings virtually from the White House residence, where he is isolating, told reporters via a video feed that his medical tests had been positive and that he expected to recover fully.
“I’m feeling great,” he said in response to questions after presiding over a virtual discussion of pending semiconductor legislation with industry and labor leaders. “I’ve had two full nights of sleep all the way through. In fact, my dog had to wake me up this morning.”
Mr. Biden, wearing a dark suit and tie, sounded a little froggy, coughed several times as he spoke and was not at his most energetic self, but nonetheless appeared to be in good condition in the video feed. At 79, he is in a high-risk category for Covid, but he has been vaccinated and boosted and his doctors have been treating him with Paxlovid, a drug that has been successful at combating symptoms of the coronavirus.
The president’s appearance came several hours after the White House physician reported that Mr. Biden’s symptoms “have now almost completely resolved.” At this point, Mr. Biden is reporting only a residual runny nose and “minimal hoarseness,” according to the latest daily memo issued by Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor, the president’s doctor. “He is experiencing no shortness of breath at all,” Dr. O’Connor wrote.
The White House, sensitive to questions of age and health for the oldest president in American history, has been eager to show Mr. Biden still performing his duties despite his illness. He participated in two virtual meetings on Monday, delivering remarks via video to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives conference and then joining the semiconductor event.
Mr. Biden told reporters that he started his workday at 9:30 a.m. and expected to finish by around 6:30 p.m. “I’m not keeping the same hours, but I’m meeting all my requirements that’s come before me and made decisions on a whole range of topics as well,” he said. He said he anticipated holding a telephone call with President Xi Jinping of China in the next few days and hoped to be back in the office “by the end of this week.”
“So far, everything’s good, everything’s on the button,” he said. “So I’m feeling better today. I still have this little bit of a sore throat and a little bit of a cough, but it’s changing significantly.”
“I think I’m on my way to full recovery, God willing,” he added.
The White House has said Mr. Biden would not resume in-person duties until he tested negative. In his memo, Dr. O’Connor repeated that “he will continue to isolate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) recommendations” and added that he is “very specifically conscientious to protect any of the executive residence, White House, Secret Service and other staff whose duties require any (albeit socially distanced) proximity to him.”