Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19; president experiencing ‘very mild symptoms,’ White House says

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning, his office said.

Biden, 79, has “very mild symptoms” and is taking Paxlovid, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said Biden went to bed feeling good Wednesday night but didn’t sleep well and subsequently tested positive this morning.

“He’s tired, has a runny nose and a dry cough,” Jha said.

Jean-Pierre said an update would be provided each day as Biden “continues to carry out all office duties in isolation” at the White House.

Close contacts, “including all congressmen and members of the press who interacted with the president during yesterday’s trip,” will be briefed Thursday, Jean-Pierre said.

Biden traveled to Somerset, Massachusetts on Wednesday, where he announced executive branch action to address climate change. The President welcomed Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska to the White House on Tuesday.

“He was in contact with White House staff by phone this morning and will be attending his scheduled White House meetings this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence,” Jean-Pierre said.

SEE ALSO: Why is the BA.5-COVID-19 variant so contagious?

The president will work in isolation until he tests negative, she said.

Biden was last tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday when he tested negative, she added.

Biden is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots; his second booster was on March 30th.

ABC News chief correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said the biggest factor in treatment will be his age.

“So,” she said, “it’s no surprise he’s on the antiviral pill Paxlovid. It has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of serious COVID-19 illness, i.e. hospitalization or death, by 89%. “

Ashton said: “He’s being closely monitored in the White House by the President’s personal physician and if anything looks like it’s going the wrong way, I totally assume he’ll be hospitalized, if nothing else than for more specific ones.” Observation. But remember, the White House isn’t like your home or my home – they can do a lot of medical surveillance, observation and testing right there.

Former President Donald Trump was briefly hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center in October 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19.

Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 in April. dr Anthony Fauci, a senior presidential adviser on the pandemic, tested positive last month.

This is an evolving story. Please check again for updates.

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