CNN

Biden tests positive for Covid, White House says

Jul 21, 2022, 8:29 AM | Updated: 3:12 pm
Joe biden...
US President Joe Biden disembarks Air Force One at T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, on July 20, 2022. - Biden is travelling to Somerset, Massachusetts, to deliver remarks on the climate crisis and seizing the opportunity of a clean energy future. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing “mild symptoms,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday.

 

“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. 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,” she said.

This is the first time Biden, 79, has tested positive for Covid-19. He last tested negative on Tuesday, per Jean-Pierre, who added that he will take Paxlovid.

Paxlovid is Pfizer’s antiviral drug and is available via emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in people 12 and older who are at high risk of severe illness. It requires a doctor’s prescription.

Biden received his first two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine ahead of his inauguration in January 2021, his first booster shot in September and his second booster vaccination on March 30.

Due to his age, Biden is at an increased risk for a more severe case of Covid-19, although the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says older adults being fully vaccinated and boosted significantly reduces their risk of hospitalization and death.

A wave of cases among 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 did not experience symptoms, according to her spokesperson Kirsten Allen. The President was not a close contact. The vice president took the antiviral coronavirus treatment Paxlovid after consulting her physicians, 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 Biden administration officials to test positive for Covid-19 after the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington in April. The President also attended the dinner and delivered remarks. All of the roughly 2,600 guests were required to be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative test on the day of the event.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Attorney General Merrick Garland, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki and several others have tested positive in recent months.

White House officials had acknowledged it was possible the President would at some point contract Covid-19 but have emphasized the precautions being taken to prevent infection.

“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,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha has said.

The President’s infection comes as the US sees a rise of Covid-19 cases and more than 1 million people have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.

The Biden administration is continuing the Covid-19 public health emergency as it seeks new funding from Congress for treatments and vaccines. The public health emergency declaration allows many Americans to obtain free Covid-19 testing, therapeutic treatment and vaccines. Medicare has also relaxed the rules governing telehealth so that many more seniors can access such services during the declaration. And states are not involuntarily disenrolling residents from Medicaid during the declaration, in exchange for receiving more generous federal matching funds.

More than two years into the pandemic, Biden has become the second sitting US president to test positive for Covid-19. Then-President Donald Trump announced on October 2, 2020, that he and then-first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for Covid-19, months before any vaccines were authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Later that day, Trump was transferred to Walter Reed, where he spent the weekend and received various treatments. Trump returned to the White House on October 5, 2020.

Biden underwent his annual physical in November at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. His physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, wrote in a memo that the President “remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations.”

This story is breaking and will be updated.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

CNN

Rudy Giuliani...
Sara Murray, Jason Morris and Gloria Borger, CNN

Rudy Giuliani told by prosecutors he is a target in Georgia 2020 presidential election probe

Investigators in Georgia say Rudy Giuliani is the focus of a grand injury investigation concerning the state's 2020 Presidential Election results.
1 day ago
The Capitol is seen as members of the House of Representatives vote on a short-term lift of the nat...
Daniella Diaz and Aaron Pellish, CNN

Man fatally shoots self after crashing car into barricade near US Capitol Building

A man shot and killed himself after driving into a vehicle barricade near the US Capitol Building early Sunday morning, US Capitol Police said.
2 days ago
14 August 2022, Egypt, Gize: Security personnel stand at the cordoned scene where a massive fire br...
Mostafa Salem, Eyad Kourdi, Jorge Engels and Hira Humayun, CNN

Children among dozens killed in Egypt church fire

Children are among at least 41 people killed, and 14 injured after a fire broke out at a church in Giza's Imbaba neighborhood in greater Cairo on Sunday, according to a spokesperson for the Egyptian Coptic Church citing health officials.
2 days ago
Salman Rushdie...
Ray Sanchez, Adam Thomas, Kristina Sgueglia, Samantha Beech, Paul P. Murphy, and Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Authorities identify suspect who attacked author Salman Rushdie at western New York event

Author Salman Rushdie, who has received death threats in the past due to his writings, was attacked Friday prior to giving a lecture in New York.
4 days ago
Former President Donald Trump is pictured....
Katelyn Polantz, Zachary Cohen, Sara Murray and Marshall Cohen, CNN

FBI took 11 sets of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, including some highly classified material

The search warrant identifies three federal crimes that the DOJ is looking at as part of its investigation, which includes violations of the Espionage Act.
4 days ago
Mar-a-Lago...
Shawna Mizelle, CNN

Wall Street Journal: Informant tipped off investigators about more documents at Mar-a-Lago

Monday's search warrant execution pertained to both the handling of classified documents and the Presidential Records Act.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Biden tests positive for Covid, White House says