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President Biden tests positive for Covid-19, has mild symptoms

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President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19, the White House said Thursday.

The 79-year-old president, who’s fully vaccinated and has received two Covid booster shots, is experiencing “very mild symptoms,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in an announcement.

Biden has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral pill that may reduce the danger of hospitalization for individuals who test positive for Covid, the press secretary said.

First lady Jill Biden told reporters in Detroit, Michigan, on Thursday morning that her husband is “feeling good.”

“I talked to him just just a few minutes ago, he’s doing high quality,” Jill Biden said. She tested negative for Covid on Thursday, her office said.

Biden will work in isolation until he tests negative for the virus, Jean-Pierre said. He’ll hold all of his planned meetings remotely Thursday.

(L-R) US Representative Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry follow US President Joe Biden before he speaks at the previous location of the Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, Massachussets, on July 20, 2022.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Biden attended an event in Massachusetts on Wednesday to announce policies to fight climate change. Lawmakers and administration officials in attendance included Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, D-Mass., climate envoy John Kerry and climate advisor Gina McCarthy.

It was unclear if any of those officials are considered close contacts with Biden under CDC guidelines.

On the time of the White House’s announcement, Vice President Kamala Harris, 57, was flying on Air Force Two to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was scheduled to debate the Biden administration’s investments in high-speed web and meet with state leaders, her office told NBC News. No decision yet has been made to vary her schedule, NBC reported.

The primary lady said she planned to maintain her schedule in Detroit, where she was set to go to public schools and discuss how federal funds are getting used to handle students’ mental health issues and Covid-related learning disruptions.

Read the complete statement from the White House:

This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19.  He’s fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms.  He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he’ll isolate on the White House and can proceed to perform all of his duties fully during that point.  He has been involved with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and can take part in his planned meetings on the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.

Consistent with White House protocol for positive COVID cases, which fits above and beyond CDC guidance, he’ll proceed to work in isolation until he tests negative.  Once he tests negative, he’ll return to in-person work.

Out of an abundance of transparency, the White House will provide a every day update on the President’s status as he continues to perform the complete duties of the office while in isolation.

Per standard protocol for any positive case on the White House, the White House Medical Unit will inform all close contacts of the President through the day today, including any Members of Congress and any members of the press who interacted with the President during yesterday’s travel.  The President’s last previous test for COVID was Tuesday, when he had a negative test result.

That is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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