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Republicans on Capitol Hill put aside partnership on Thursday in the wake of President Biden’s COVID-19 diagnosis.
GOP lawmakers issued warm words for the 79-year-old Biden, who the White House says is “experiencing very mild symptoms.”
“I was sorry to hear that President Biden has tested positive for COVID-19,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “Wishing him a speedy recovery.”
Such regards came in from both moderates and hardline conservatives alike. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said he and his family would be praying for the president.
“May God’s healing hand be upon him, may Covid pass quickly, and may he have a swift and full recovery,” said Cruz.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he was hoping Biden would bounce back quickly.
“I just wish him a quick recovery. I’m sure he’ll be fine,” said Graham.
Biden, who is vaccinated and has received at least two booster shots, tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday. The positive diagnosis came a day after he traveled to Massachusetts to tout his administration’s actions on climate change and two days after meeting Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska.
Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s personal physician, informed the public that Biden had a runny nose, was fatigued and experiencing an “occasional dry cough.” To deal with the symptoms, Biden was prescribed Paxlovid, an antiviral drug used to treat coronavirus symptoms.
“I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most maximally protected patients do,” O’Connor wrote in a letter released by the White House.
The White House sought to allay concerns over Biden’s health by scheduling a press conference. Administration officials also briefed that the president was working and felt good enough to call lawmakers in Pennsylvania to apologize for having to scrap an event planned for Thursday.
“I really appreciate your concerns, but I’m doing well and getting a lot of work done,” Biden said in a video released by the White House. “In the meantime, thanks for your concerns and keep the faith. It’s going to be okay.”