U.S President, Joe Biden, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and is experiencing “mild symptoms,” the White House announced through a statement.
Biden, 79, is being treated with the antiviral Paxlovid and is fully vaccinated and twice boosted, the statement said.
White House Covid coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said Biden is tired, has a runny nose and a dry cough. Jha said Biden felt fine when he went to bed, but didn’t sleep well.
Biden canceled a planned event for Thursday in Pennsylvania due to his diagnosis, but sought to portray a sense of business as usual as he isolated in the White House residence.
“Folks, I’m doing great,” Biden tweeted. “Thanks for your concern. Just called Senator Casey, Congressman Cartwright, and Mayor Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today. Keeping busy!”
The White House said Biden has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone Thursday morning, and will participate in planned meetings via Zoom.
The positive test comes days after Biden returned from a trip overseas where he was in close contact with a number of leaders in Israel and the Middle East. Ahead of the trip, White House officials said Biden would be minimizing contact as a Covid precaution, but during public engagements, Biden was seen shaking hands and embracing officials and was seen without a mask during indoor meetings.
First lady Jill Biden is considered a close contact and is following CDC guidance on wearing a mask and social distancing, her spokesman said. The first lady said the president is “doing fine” and that she tested negative.
“My husband tested positive for Covid, I talked to him just a few minutes ago, he’s doing fine,” the first lady said Thursday ahead of an education event in Detroit. “He’s feeling good. I tested negative this morning. I am going to keep my schedule.”
– NBC News