White Home doctor says US president is taking antiviral treatment, as his important indicators stay ‘totally regular’.
US President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 signs “have improved”, his physician has stated, as his pulse, blood stress and oxygen ranges stay “totally regular”.
In a memo (PDF) launched by the White home on, Biden doctor, Keven O’Connor, stated the US president was experiencing a runny nostril, fatigue and “an occasional non-productive, now ‘unfastened’ cough”.
O’Connor additionally stated that Biden had a slight fever on Thursday night, nevertheless it responded “favorably” to a generic ache reduction treatment. “His temperature has remained regular since then,” the physician’s memo reads.
Biden, who examined optimistic for COVID on Thursday, is continuous to take the antiviral medication Paxlovid, supposed to decrease danger of hospitalisation and loss of life for these most susceptible. At 79 years previous, the president falls into that class, in keeping with the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC).
To take the Paxlovid, Biden has needed to cease taking two different medicines that decrease ldl cholesterol and blood stress. O’Connor stated Biden will cease taking these medicines in the course of the course of Paxlovid remedy, often a five-day remedy, and “for a number of days after his final dose”. Throughout that point, the president will take “low dose aspirin in its place sort of blood thinner”.
On Friday, the White Home launched a photo of Biden – masked at his desk – making a cellphone name whereas a paper observe, with the caption: “President Biden continued working from the White Home this morning, together with talking by cellphone along with his nationwide safety crew.”
Biden and the White Home have confused that the president is totally vaccinated and double-boosted for COVID, which lowers his danger of great sickness. Officers have taken the chance to encourage others to get the vaccine.
“Get vaccinated,” White Home COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha advised reporters on Thursday. “You probably have a breakthrough an infection, get handled; it’s the perfect factor you are able to do to guard your self.”
The Biden administration has been urging Americans to get vaccinated and boosted amid a spike in COVID instances, pushed by extremely contagious Omicron subvariants referred to as BA.4 and BA.5.
“Staying updated in your COVID-19 vaccines offers the perfect safety in opposition to extreme outcomes,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated earlier this month.
Regardless of the COVID analysis, Biden has continued to hold out his duties as president. On Thursday, he signed into legislation the “Components Act”, which goals to fight the newborn formula shortages that the US has been experiencing.
“I actually admire your inquiries and considerations,” Biden stated in a video message on Thursday. “However I’m doing effectively, getting lots of work performed, going to proceed to get it performed. And within the meantime, thanks in your concern and hold the religion. It’s going to be OK.”
Washington, DC – America “is not going to stroll away” from the Center East, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed to allies throughout his journey to the area final week.
The journey to Israel and Saudi Arabia got here at a time of worldwide and domestic crises for the US president, who had promised to strengthen “promising tendencies” in a “much less pressurized” Center East.
“America goes to stay an energetic, engaged associate within the Center East,” Biden informed Arab leaders throughout a summit within the Saudi metropolis of Jeddah on Saturday.
All through the four-day journey, Biden reaffirmed previous commitments to allies and pushed for the acceleration of shifts already in movement, together with Israeli-Arab normalisation.
Listed below are 5 key takeaways from Biden’s first go to to the Center East as president.
Biden places on pro-Israel show
From the second he landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Biden made a collection of pronouncements reaffirming Washington’s dedication to Israel’s safety and his personal affinity for the nation.
Biden urged that he identifies as a Zionist, echoing earlier feedback he has made over time. “I did say and I say once more, you needn’t be a Jew to be a Zionist,” he said.
He added that the US-Israeli connection is “bone deep”.
As he heaped reward on Israel, Biden didn’t overtly press for concessions regarding Palestinians in engagements with Israeli officers. In response to public statements, there have been no criticisms of settlements, no requires permitting Washington to open a consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, and no pushes for accountability for the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
As he headed to occupied East Jerusalem and the West Financial institution, Biden struck a extra balanced tone with out explicitly criticising Israel. Final Friday, he appeared to liken the plight of Palestinians to that of Irish individuals who struggled beneath British colonialism.
“My background and the background of my household is Irish American, and now we have a protracted historical past not basically not like the Palestinian folks with Nice Britain,” he informed a Palestinian viewers in East Jerusalem.
In the course of the go to, Biden pledged $100m in further help to hospitals that serve Palestinians within the holy metropolis. And after a gathering with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he also said Washington would proceed to “insist on a full and clear accounting” of the killing of Abu Akleh, who was fatally shot by Israeli forces in Could.
However the US president didn’t decide to an impartial probe or meet with the slain journalist’s family – as Abu Akleh’s kinfolk had requested – throughout his go to.
US, Israel current united entrance towards Iran
Whereas US officers say they’re dedicated to reviving the Iran nuclear deal and Israel overtly opposes the settlement, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid displayed a united entrance towards Tehran final week.
The 2 leaders signed a joint declaration pledging to by no means permit Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, with Washington vowing to maintain the US dedication to Israel’s safety “bipartisan and sacrosanct”.
“America stresses that integral to this pledge is the dedication by no means to permit Iran to accumulate a nuclear weapon, and that it’s ready to make use of all components of its nationwide energy to make sure that final result,” the joint assertion, launched on July 14, reads. Tehran denies in search of nuclear arms.
Requested days earlier by Israel’s Channel 12 information whether or not he would use drive towards Iran to forestall it from buying a nuclear weapon, Biden said, “If that was the final resort, sure.”
The US president additionally dominated out eradicating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the US record of “overseas terrorist organizations” even when it means killing the 2015 nuclear pact, which noticed Iran cut back its nuclear programme in alternate for the lifting of sanctions towards its economic system.
Biden later stated he continues to imagine that “diplomacy is one of the best ways” to make sure a nuclear weapons-free Iran.
Imad Harb, director of analysis and evaluation on the Arab Heart Washington DC, stated that whereas the US dedication on Iran will not be fully new, spelling it out in such a means at a time when the nuclear talks are stalling will increase the probabilities of confrontation with Tehran.
“You received’t permit Iran to have nuclear weapons. However but on the identical time, you haven’t been capable of attain an settlement with Iran on the nuclear file,” Harb stated of Biden.
“So what does that imply? Are we, the USA, tip-toeing right into a navy confrontation with Iran based mostly on Israeli perceptions of risk? Or is the USA actually really threatening as a result of it feels that Iran is arriving on the nuclear breakout or nuclear weapons?”
Push for normalisation turns incremental
Biden made it clear earlier than leaving on his trip that pushing for normalisation between Israel and Arab international locations – significantly Saudi Arabia – could be a high precedence.
Saudi officers had beforehand stated they’d not normalise with Israel absent of a viable Palestinian state. And so throughout his go to, Biden pushed for incremental normalising gestures between the 2 international locations that fall wanting absolutely establishing diplomatic relations.
When he was in Israel, Biden introduced that Saudi Arabia has agreed to open its airspace to all air carriers, together with Israeli planes, hailing the transfer as “historic”.
Washington additionally helped safe an settlement to switch two Red Sea islands from Egyptian to Saudi sovereignty, which required Israeli consent. Biden portrayed the pact as a significant achievement, describing it as a “historic deal to remodel a flashpoint on the coronary heart of the Center East wars into an space of peace”.
Whereas Biden was not in a position so as to add new international locations to the normalisation agreements, referred to as the “Abraham Accords” and brokered by his predecessor Donald Trump, he pushed on with US requires regional financial and safety integration that would come with Israel.
MBS fist bump stirs criticism, debate
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince was exterior the royal palace in Jeddah when Biden’s presidential limousine arrived.
Biden took a number of steps out of the automobile, clutching either side of his blazer – in an obvious effort to button it up – with one hand. Because the crown prince approached, Biden prolonged an arm with a clenched fist in the direction of him.
The 2 leaders bumped fists – not an unusual greeting within the age of COVID-19 – and exchanged smiles as they walked into the constructing.
The second ended the estrangement between the US president and de facto Saudi chief, whom the US intelligence group accuses of being behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia has stated that the killing of Khashoggi on the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018 was a rogue operation that occurred with out the approval or data of high officers, together with bin Salman (recognized by his initials, MBS). The dominion additionally says it tried and convicted these accountable for the homicide.
However Biden, who referred to as Saudi Arabia a “pariah” as a candidate, initially refused to interact instantly with MBS, with the White Home saying that the US president would conduct relations along with his counterpart, King Salman.
Now, the proverbial ice between Biden and MBS has been damaged.
The US president stated he brought up the killing of Khashoggi in a gathering with the crown prince and different Saudi officers, however rights teams have been fast to criticise the president over the encounter.
Fred Ryan – the writer of the Washington Publish newspaper, the place Khashoggi labored on the time of his loss of life – referred to as the fist bump “shameful”, and the Committee to Defend Journalists said it was “appalled” by Biden’s “failure” to carry the crown prince accountable.
Nonetheless, many mainstream commentators in Washington defended Biden, with some citing the essential points that the US and Saudi Arabia should deal with collectively – together with oil and Iran.
“Critics of [Biden] journey to KSA get 2 issues fallacious. First, you must take care of the leaders that exist, not ones you like. 2nd, what issues will not be ‘deliverables’ however constructing a relationship w Saudi leaders that can permit the two international locations to collaborate on Iran, Israel, oil, and so on,” Richard Haass, president of the Council on Overseas Relations, wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Harb, of the Arab Heart, said Biden might have wished to keep away from a handshake with the crown prince, however there was no solution to escape the visuals of being with MBS on the go to.
“The problem is how would Mohammed bin Salman take it. It appears to be like like he’s taking it as an admission that the US president was fallacious, in addition to an American recognition of his management,” Harb informed Al Jazeera.
Discussions for extra oil, however nothing concrete
As a lot as Biden and his high aides pressured over the previous weeks that the journey to the Center East was not about oil, specialists have argued that the energy crisis is driving the president’s journey.
The journey didn’t end in an express settlement to spice up manufacturing from the dominion to tame oil costs that skyrocketed after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However Biden appeared optimistic when addressing the problem.
“We had a great dialogue on making certain world vitality safety and sufficient oil provides to help world financial development, and that can start shortly,” Biden informed reporters after talks with Saudi officers, including that Riyadh shares “the urgency” about the necessity to deal with the vitality disaster.
In a joint assertion on Friday, Washington and Riyadh “reaffirmed their dedication to a steady world vitality market”. The White Home later stated the 2 international locations finalised a number of bilateral agreements, together with on vitality safety, with out offering particulars.
Oil costs had been step by step going down since earlier than Biden’s journey. The US president stated on Friday that it is going to be “one other couple weeks” earlier than the potential results of his go to to Saudi Arabia are seen by US gas shoppers on the pump.
The US president pushed for a rise in oil output throughout his first journey to the Center East.
From Israel to the occupied West Financial institution and Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden’s first go to to the Center East comes at a crucial time for the US president, whose approval score is at lower than 40 p.c within the run-up to mid-term elections.
The Ukraine struggle has set off a world vitality disaster, and Biden desires the dominion to pump extra oil, to deliver down costs for People feeling the pinch on the pump.
Relations between the standard allies reached a historic low after the homicide of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Biden goals to reset these ties.
Different points embrace safety and relations with Israel.
US president seems to rebuff request for assembly with slain journalist’s household throughout go to to Israel and occupied West Financial institution.
US President Joe Biden seems to have rejected a request by Shireen Abu Akleh’s family to fulfill with him throughout his go to to Israel and the occupied West Financial institution this week, as stress mounts on the USA to make sure accountability for the journalist’s killing by Israeli forces.
The White Home launched a public schedule of Biden’s go to on Wednesday, and it didn’t embrace a gathering with the slain Al Jazeera journalist’s relations. The New York Instances additionally reported earlier within the day that Biden has “sidestepped” the family’s demand for a gathering. Abu Akleh was an American citizen.
Earlier than Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday, US Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan informed reporters that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had invited Abu Akleh’s household to the US.
“Secretary Blinken truly spoke with Shireen’s household a short time in the past,” Sullivan mentioned.
“He has invited the household to the USA to have the ability to sit down and have interaction with them immediately. The administration, on the president’s course, has been very a lot engaged in serving to attempt to decide what precisely occurred across the tragic circumstances of her loss of life.”
He added that Abu Akleh’s killing “will probably be one of many topics at play” throughout Biden’s talks in Israel. Sullivan additionally known as for “accountability and ensuring that we discover a strategy to conclude this chapter justly”.
The White Home didn’t reply to Al Jazeera’s request for touch upon whether or not Biden can be keen to fulfill the household in Washington, DC.
Abu Akleh’s household berated Biden’s response to the killing final week, accusing his administration of whitewashing what it known as “the extrajudicial killing” of the journalist by Israeli forces.
“We, the household of Shireen Abu Akleh, write to specific our grief, outrage and sense of betrayal regarding your administration’s abject response to the extrajudicial killing of our sister and aunt by Israeli forces on Might 11, 2022, whereas on task within the occupied Palestinian metropolis of Jenin within the West Financial institution,” the family said in a letter to the US president.
The letter known as on Biden to fulfill the household and push for significant accountability for the killing.
Final week, the State Division acknowledged that the deadly bullet that struck Abu Akleh probably got here from an Israeli military place, but it surely framed the killing of the journalist because the unintentional “results of tragic circumstances”.
Though video footage, witness testimonies, and a number of investigations by independent media shops have proven that there have been no armed Palestinians within the space the place Abu Akleh was killed, the US assertion emphasised the context of the Israeli raid and taking pictures as a response to “a collection of terrorist assaults in Israel”.
On Tuesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a US-based watchdog, known as on Biden to talk out on press freedom throughout his go to to the Center East and grant the Abu Akleh household’s “request to fulfill with the president throughout his journey”.
Earlier this week, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez – two staunchly pro-Israel Democratic US senators who characterize New Jersey the place Abu Akleh was a registered resident – joined the growing calls in Congress for accountability within the Al Jazeera journalist’s killing.
“We urge you to boost Ms. Abu Akleh’s case on the highest ranges and press for accountability throughout your upcoming go to to Israel and the West Financial institution,” the senators wrote in a letter to Biden.
“We additionally ask for continued US participation in clear and well timed investigations into any remaining or new proof.”