WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday morning and is experiencing “mild symptoms,” the White House said in a statement.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement confirming Biden’s positive test, confirming he has “very mild symptoms” and is being treated with the antiviral Paxlovid.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms,” she 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.”
The White House said Biden’s planned event for Thursday in Pennsylvania was canceled and the President would be in isolation in the residence of the White House and would continue that isolation in Delaware this weekend.
“Folks, I’m doing great,” Biden tweeted. “Thanks for your concern. Just called Senator Casey, Congressman Cartwright, and Mayor Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today. Keeping busy!”
Biden has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone Thursday morning and will participate in planned meetings virtually through Zoom.
The news of Biden’s positive test comes less than a week after he returned from the Middle East, where he visited Israel and Saudi Arabia. White House officials said Biden would be minimizing contact as a Covid precaution but the President was seen shaking hands with world leaders the same day.
First lady Jill Biden is considered a close contact and is following CDC guidance. While speaking in Detroit on Thursday, the first lady confirmed her husband is sick but she tested negative.
“My husband tested positive for Covid, I talked to him just a few minutes ago, he’s doing fine,” she said. “He’s feeling good. I tested negative this morning. I am going to keep my schedule.”
Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said in a letter that the President received a positive antigen test as part of routine screening and the test was later confirmed by a PCR test.
“The President is fully vaccinated and twice-boosted, so I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most maximally protected patients do,” O’Connor said.
Vice President Kamala Harris also tested negative on her Air Force 2 flight en route to North Carolina. No changes to her schedule have been made.
Biden is the second sitting U.S. president to get Covid after his predecessor Donald Trump had to be hospitalized in 2020.