Update (1155ET): President Biden on Wednesday said that his Covid symptoms were "mild," and that recovery was "quick and I'm feeling great."
"BA-5 means many of us are still going to get COVID if we take the precautions," he continued, during a brief speech in the Rose Garden.
Biden then promoted Pfizer's Paxlovid as a "life-saving drug," adding "If you need it, Paxlovid is at the ready."
Then, Biden suggested that handled Covid better than former President Trump, who "had to be helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center," because vaccines weren't available then.
Nevermind the fact that Trump also caught a far more aggressive strain than Omicron. Follow the science much?
Watch Biden's speech below:
* * *
President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 Tuesday night after isolating for five days, according to White House physician Kevin O'Connor.
"His symptoms have been steadily improving, and are almost completely resolved," said O'Connor in a statement, adding that Biden will now "discontinue his strict isolation measures," but will "increase his testing cadence" in case of so-called "rebound" COVID positivity "observed in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid" - which is what happened to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Joe Biden had two negative covid tests (last night and again this morning) and is out of strict isolation, per doc note. pic.twitter.com/Jw8eTFKX1t— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) July 27, 2022
"The President continues to be very specifically conscientious about protecting any of the Executive Residence, White House, Secret Service, and other staff whose duties require any (albeit socially distanced) proximity to him."
Of course, whoever filmed this is probably dead now.
An update from me: pic.twitter.com/L2oCR0uUTu— President Biden (@POTUS) July 21, 2022
Back to the Oval.— President Biden (@POTUS) July 27, 2022
Thanks to Doc for the good care, and to all of you for your support. pic.twitter.com/Cfzn1zAKJF
According to the White House, Biden will deliver remarks in the Rose Garden at 11:30 a.m. eastern.
Biden's Covid diagnosis undoubtedly shocked many (for example, those who drive alone with masks on) based on guarantees he gave the American public in 2021 about vaccines.
July 2021: Joe Biden: “You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.”— James Melville (@JamesMelville) July 21, 2022
July 2022: Joe Biden tests positive for Covid.pic.twitter.com/y4UjRcyGd0
No word on his oil-rain cancer diagnosis.
President Biden just said he has cancer.— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) July 20, 2022
Is it true?
Or is the Commander in Chief confused?
Who knows!! pic.twitter.com/OyrPXCYrd2
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Forget Ron DeSantis: Walt Disney has a much bigger problem
The company’s political woes are a sideshow to the one key issue Bob Iger has to solve.
Walt Disney has a massive, but solvable, problem.
The company's current skirmishes with Florida Gov. DeSantis get a lot of headlines, but they're not having a major impact on the company's bottom line.
DeSantis has made Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Free Report a target in what he calls his war on woke, an effort to win right-wing support as he tries to secure the Republican Party nomination for president.
That effort has generated plenty of press and multiple lawsuits tied to the governor's takeover of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney's legislated self-governance operation. But it has not hurt revenue at the company's massive Florida theme-park complex.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger addressed the matter during the company's third-quarter-earnings call, without directly mentioning DeSantis.
"Walt Disney World is still performing well above precovid levels: 21% higher in revenue and 29% higher in operating income compared to fiscal 2019," he said.
And "following a number of recent changes we've implemented, we continue to see positive guest-experience ratings in our theme parks, including Walt Disney World, and positive indicators for guests looking to book future visits."
The theme parks are not Disney's problem. The death of the movie business is, however, a hurdle that Iger has yet to show that the company has a plan to clear.
Disney needs a plan to monetize content
In 2019 Walt Disney drew in more $11 billion in global box office, or $13 billion when you add in the former Fox properties it also owns. In that year seven Mouse House films crossed the billion-dollar threshold in theaters, according to data from Box Office Mojo.
This year, the company will struggle to reach half that and it has no billion-dollar films, with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" closing its theatrical run at $845 million globally.
(That's actually good for third place this year, as only "Barbie" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" have broken the billion-dollar mark and they may be the only two films to do that this year.)
In the precovid world Disney could release two Pixar movies, three Marvel films, a live-action remake of an animated classic, and maybe one other film that each would be nearly guaranteed to earn $1 billion at the box office.
That's simply not how the movie business works anymore. While theaters may remain part of Disney's plan to monetize its content, the past isn't coming back. Theaters may remain a piece of the movie-release puzzle, but 2023 isn't an anomaly or a bad release schedule.
Consumers have big TVs at home and they're more than happy to watch most films on them.
Disney owns the IP but charges too little
People aren't less interested in Marvel and Star Wars; they're just getting their fix from Disney+ at an absurdly low price.
Over the past couple of months through the next few weeks, I will have watched about seven hours of premium Star Wars content and five hours of top-tier Marvel content with "Ahsoka" and "Loki" respectively.
Before the covid pandemic, I gladly would have paid theater prices for each movie in those respective universes. Now, I have consumed about six movies worth of premium content for less than the price of two movie tickets.
By making its premium content television shows available on a service that people can buy for $7.99 a month Disney has devalued its most valuable asset, its intellectual property.
Consumers have shown that they will pay the $10 to $15 cost of a movie ticket to see what happens next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the Star Wars galaxy. But the company has offered top-tier content from those franchises at a lower price.
Iger needs to find a way to replace billions of dollars in lost box office, but charging less for the company's content makes no sense.
Now, some fans likely won't pay triple the price for Disney+. But if it were to bundle a direct-to-consumer ESPN along with content that currently gets released to movie theaters, Disney might create a package that it can price in a way that reflects the value of its IP.
Consumers want Disney's content and they will likely pay more for it. Iger simply has to find a way to make that happen.
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