President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House said Thursday.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement announcing the “fully vaccinated and twice boosted” 79-year-old president is experiencing “very mild symptoms” and has begun treatment for his illness. Biden is taking Paxlovid, the COVID-19 antiviral drug developed by Pfizer.
The president’s symptoms include a runny nose and fatigue, “with an occasional dry cough, which started yesterday evening,” the White House said.
He will isolate at the White House and work remotely while he is ill, according to Jean-Pierre.
“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. Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work,” she said.
“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,” she added.
This is the first time Biden has tested positive for the coronavirus. His last negative test was taken on Tuesday.
First lady Jill Biden told reporters in Detroit, Michigan, on Thursday that her husband is “feeling good,” per CNBC News.
“I talked to him just a few minutes ago, he’s doing fine,” Jill Biden said. She tested negative for COVID on Thursday, according to her office.
The first lady is visiting public schools in Detroit and will discuss how federal funds are being spent to address students’ mental health issues and pandemic-related learning disruptions, CNBC reported.
Biden received his second COVID-19 booster shot in March and has consistently urged Americans to get fully vaccinated and boosted to protect against severe illness and death from the deadly disease.
He received the first dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine in December 2020 and his second dose in January 2021, both on live television. He took the first Pfizer booster shot in September 2021.
Biden gave a public address in Massachusetts on Wednesday where he announced new executive actions on climate change. Several lawmakers and members of his administration were in attendance, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), climate envoy John Kerry, and climate advisor Gina McCarthy.
So far, none of those officials have reported positive COVID-19 tests after being in contact with Biden.
Vice President Kamala Harris was traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a meeting with state leaders on the Biden administration’s investments in high speed internet when the White House made its announcement, her office told NBC News. Her scheduled plans have not yet changed, NBC reported.