President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning, the White House announced.
In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden, 79, is experiencing “very mild symptoms” and has started taking Paxlovid, an antiviral therapy recommended by Dr. Kevin O’ Connor, physician to the president.
According to O’Connor, Biden began experiencing symptoms — a runny nose, fatigue and an occasional dry cough — on Wednesday night.
The president will continue to work remotely from his White House residence, where he is expected to self-isolate for at least five days, based on current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jean-Pierre said that Biden has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone and will participate in their planned meetings “by phone and Zoom” from the residence.
“Once he tests negative, he will go back to work in person,” Jean-Pierre said. His last previous test for COVID was on Tuesday, which came back negative.
“Out of an abundance of transparency,” he added, “the White House will provide a daily update on the President’s status as he continues to perform all duties of the office while in isolation.”
According to a White House official, Vice President Kamala Harris, who was last with Biden on Tuesday, has tested negative. His trip to Charlotte, NC went according to plan.
First lady Jill Biden, who is in Detroit, told reporters that she tested negative Thursday morning and will continue with her travel itinerary while wearing a mask and social distancing, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
He added that the president is “fine.”
“I talked to him a few minutes ago. He’s fine, he feels good,” he said.
In a subsequent tweet, the president, who was scheduled to travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. — He said he felt “great”.
He also posted a follow-up video.
Biden is fully vaccinated and double boosted. He received his first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shortly before his inauguration in January 2021. He received a booster shot from Pfizer in September and another at the end of March.
The president had appeared without a mask at various events in recent days, including in an event in Somerset, Massachusetts, on Wednesdayshaking hands with supporters on a rope while flanked by current and former lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and presidential climate envoy John Kerry.
The White House Medical Unit is in the process of contacting anyone who may have interacted with Biden on the trip, Jean-Pierre said.
The news of Biden’s positive test comes amid a surge in cases in the United States that is being driven by more transmissible Omicron sub-variants such as BA.5.
According to Johns Hopkins UniversityThere have been more than 90 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US since the start of the pandemic, far more than in any other country in the world.
More than 1,025,000 Americans have died as a result of complications from COVID-19.
Read the memo from the President’s physician below.