Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19: White House

Biden, who is fully vaccinated and has had two booster shots is experiencing mild symptoms the White House says.

United States President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, is experiencing “very mild symptoms” and will continue to carry out his duties the White House has said.

Biden, 79, will isolate at the White House, had been in contact with members of staff and will participated in planned meetings, the president’s Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced in a statement Thursday morning.

The president has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug recommended for those at risk of severe illness. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said in the case of COVID, that includes those over the age of 65.

Biden’s COVID diagnosis was confirmed by both antigen and PCR tests, the president’s physician, Kevin O’Connor said Thursday in a letter to Jean-Pierre that the White House made public.

The president’s symptoms include a “runny nose”, “fatigue, with an occasional dry cough” which began Wednesday evening, O’Connor wrote. The physician anticipated Biden “will respond favorably” to treatment.

The White House says it will provide a daily update on Biden’s status, and will inform anyone who has been in close contact with the president.

Biden’s previous COVID test was Tuesday which was negative, the White House said.

Biden will work in isolation until he tests negative, consistent with White House COVID protocol, more stringent than guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While a number of those inside the White House have contracted the virus during Biden’s administration, the president had been able to avoid COVID even as successive variants caused spikes of cases in the US.

First Lady Jill Biden, who is in Michigan has tested negative, and will continue her duties.

This is a developing story. More soon. 

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