President Joe Biden emerged from coronavirus isolation Wednesday urging Americans to continue wearing masks indoors and getting their vaccine shots.
“My symptoms were mild, recovery was quick, and I’m feeling great,” Biden said proudly.
The president delivered a speech outdoors in the Rose Garden in front of reporters, the first time he has appeared at an in-person event since he first tested positive.
The president repeated his advice to Americans about the importance of wearing masks.
“You should consider wearing a mask when you’re in a crowded indoor public place,” he said. “These precautions add an extra layer of protection for you and for those around you.”
The president again urged Americans to get vaccinated and make sure they were up to date with their booster shots.
“Every person age five and older should get a booster shot,” he said, urging people over 50 to get two booster shots.
But Biden admitted that even though Americans were taking precautions, they were still likely to get the virus.
“The reality is that BA.5 means many of us are still going to get Covid, even if we take the precautions,” he said.
Biden also promoted the use of Paxlovid to help treat the virus, although he struggled on the correct pronunciation of the drug.
The president used his battle with the virus to showcase the advances that had been made in treatments and again credited the coronavirus vaccine for helping him experience reduced symptoms.
Biden remarked that former President Donald Trump had to travel to Walter Reed to get treatment for the coronavirus, but he was able to beat the virus while continuing to do his work and stay at the White House.
“What’s different now is our ability to protect ourselves from serious illness,” he said.
The president urged Americans to follow his example.
“You can live without fear by doing what I did, get vaccinated, get boosted,” he said.