After President Joe Biden gladly announced Wednesday that he tested negative for COVID-19 and is no longer isolating, Fox News host Sean Hannity called it “good news,” only to then say the strain of the virus that Biden fought off was “much, much weaker” than the one then-President Donald Trump had in the fall of 2020.
Biden tested positive last Thursday, and over the weekend his physician said he likely contracted the BA.5 subvariant that currently makes up the vast majority of cases nationally. The 79-year-old president, who has had four vaccination shots, was treated with an antiviral manufactured by Pfizer called Paxlovid.
“Unfortunately, this COVID is still with us, as it has been for two and a half years. But our fight against COVID is making a huge difference. What’s different now is our ability to protect ourselves from serious illness due to COVID,” Biden told White House staff in the Rose Garden.
“When my predecessor got COVID, he had to get a helicopter to Walter Reed Medical Center. He was severely ill. Thankfully he recovered. When I got COVID, I worked from the upstairs of the White House… for a five-day period. The difference is vaccinations, of course.”
Hannity then jumped in to contrast the level of severity between Biden and Trump’s respective illnesses.
“What Joe failed to mention is the current variant, which is BA.5 (the dominant variant of omicron), is much, much weaker than the original strain that infected then-President Trump,” said the frequent Trump defender who takes a special interest in denigrating Biden’s health. (BA.5, with its unique mutations that make it less detectable by antibodies, is still quite dangerous.)
Hannity then criticized Biden for not crediting his predecessor for the vaccines, “which were made possible by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed,” as he put it.
“The uniter-in-chief that he is just doesn’t seem to have it in him,” the Fox host grumbled.