(CNN)– United States President Joe Biden has tested positive for coronavirus, the White House said in a statement.
“This morning, President Biden has tested positive for covid-19. He is fully vaccinated and with two boosters and is experiencing very mild symptoms. He has started taking Paxlovid,” the official statement said. The president will isolate himself in the White House and continue with his tasks from there until a test gives him a negative result.
The statement also announced that “for the sake of transparency, the White House will report daily on the status of the president.”
It is the first time Biden, 79, has tested positive for COVID-19. The last time she tested negative was this Tuesday, according to Jean-Pierre.
Paxlovid is an antiviral medicine from Pfizer and is available through emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in people 12 years of age and older who are at high risk of severe disease. Requires a doctor’s prescription.
Biden received his first two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine before his inauguration in January 2021, his first booster shot in September, and his second booster shot on March 30.
Due to his age, Biden is at higher risk of a more severe case of covid-19, although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that adults Seniors who are fully vaccinated and boosted significantly reduce their risk of hospitalization and death.
Biden was originally scheduled to travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on Thursday to deliver a speech on crime prevention, followed by a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Philadelphia. He was also scheduled to travel to Orlando and Tampa (Florida) on Monday of next week. But Jean-Pierre said Biden will self-isolate at the White House “in accordance with CDC guidelines.”
The White House is already working on tracing the president’s possible close contacts, according to an official, with any close contacts planned to be informed as soon as Thursday.
Biden has stepped up his engagement with the public over the past year as the White House has shifted its approach to the pandemic. On Wednesday, Biden traveled to Somerset, Massachusetts to attend an event on climate action, where she was seen shaking hands and greeting attendees in the outdoor crowd.
The president’s positive diagnosis comes less than a week after a tour of the Middle East, where he held meetings with world leaders in Israel and Saudi Arabia. While abroad, Biden was seen shaking hands, bumping fists and hugging other leaders.
The White House is currently working on tracing Biden’s close contacts, according to an official, since his positive Covid test. They plan to brief all close contacts on Thursday, including members of Congress and the press.
Jill Biden, negative
Meanwhile, the first lady, Jill Biden, tested negative for covid-19 when she took the test on Thursday morning, her spokesman Michael La Rosa told CNN.
La Rosa stated that Jill Biden is a close contact of the president and that she is following CDC guidelines to wear masks and maintain social distance on her visits this Thursday.
The first lady is on a two-day, tri-state trip and is currently in Detroit, Michigan. She will subsequently travel to Georgia. Jill Biden is not going to modify her visit or her agenda, explained La Rosa.
Covid-19 continues to affect the Biden administration
A spate of cases involving cabinet members, White House staffers and members of Congress has swept Washington in recent months.
Vice President Kamala Harris contracted the virus earlier this year. Harris is also fully vaccinated and double-boosted and experienced no symptoms, according to her spokeswoman Kirsten Allen. The vice president took the antiviral treatment against the Paxlovid coronavirus after consulting her doctors, according to Allen, and tested negative on May 2, leaving isolation.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice were some of the highest-ranking officials in the Biden administration to test positive for covid-19 after the Washington correspondents’ dinner. the White House held in April in Washington. The president also attended the dinner and made a speech. All of the approximately 2,600 guests were required to be fully vaccinated and show a negative test on the day of the event.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; the second gentleman; Doug Emhoff; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi; the Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo; Attorney General Merrick Garland; former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki; and other people have tested positive in recent months.
White House officials had acknowledged that it was possible that the president could contract covid-19 at some point, but emphasized the precautions being taken to avoid contagion.
“The conclusion is that he is vaccinated and reinforced. He is very well protected. He has very good protocols around him to protect him from infection. But nothing is 100%,” said the coordinator of the response to covid-19 of the House White, Dr. Ashish Jha.