WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House announced on Thursday that President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated and double-boosted against the virus that causes the disease.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that Biden is currently undergoing treatment with Paxlovid – an antiviral therapy developed by Pfizer – for a “mild” case of COVID; the President’s previous test, taken on Tuesday, had come up negative.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms,” Jean-Pierre said. “He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time. He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.”
Jean-Pierre noted that Biden, 79, will continue to carry out his duties as President while recovering.
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“Consistent with White House protocol for positive COVID cases, which goes above and beyond CDC guidance, he will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative,” she said. “Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work. Out of an abundance of transparency, the White House will provide a daily update on the President’s status as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation.”
Reports indicate that the White House Medical Unit is currently tracking down individuals that had come into close contact with Biden on either Wednesday – a day he spent traveling – or Thursday morning, including staff, lawmakers and journalists.
Biden had received his most recent COVID-19 vaccine booster shot – his second – in March. While his symptoms are currently being described as “mild,” he nonetheless remains at relatively high risk for a severe case simply because of his advanced age.