INFECTED: President Joe Biden tests positive for Covid-19
President Joe Biden had tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House announced on Thursday.
Following Center for Disease Control guidelines, Biden “will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time,” said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Biden received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine before his inauguration in January 2021.
The 79-year-old president, was boosted in September 2021, and March 2022 — and is currently on the antiviral medication Paxlovid.
Approved for emergency use by the FDA, the Pfizer-made drug is meant to stave off more serious symptoms of COVID-19 that could affect those in high risk groups.
Biden’s age makes him more vulnerable to complications from the virus, but the vaccine has been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.
Optimistic that Biden will suffer minimal conplications, if any, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said:
“The bottom line is he is vaccinated and boosted. He is very well protected. He’s got very good protocols around him to protect him from getting infected. But there is no 100% anything.”
In the past few months, several high ranking government officials have tested positive for the disease — Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Infectious disease expert and head of the NIH, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently announced his own positive diagnosis.
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Biden returned a week ago from a controversial trip to the Middle East where he met with Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, and visited Israel for a diplomatic visit.
Teating negative on Tuesday, along with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the pair hosted Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska at the White House.
Dr. Biden tested negative again Thursday.
The new Omicron BA.5 variant has dominated COVID cases in the U.S. and is considered even more contagious than previous variants.
But for now, press secretary Jean-Pierre says the president, “will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.”
Original reporting by Betsy Klein, Meagan Vasquez, and Kate Sullivan at CNN
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