President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19, the White House said Thursday.
The 79-year-old president, who is fully vaccinated and has received two Covid booster shots, is experiencing “very mild symptoms,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Biden has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral pill that can reduce the risk of hospitalization for people 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 a few minutes ago, he’s doing fine,” 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 will hold all of his planned meetings remotely Thursday.
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.
At 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 discuss the Biden administration’s investments in high-speed internet and meet with state leaders, her office told NBC News. No decision yet has been made to change her schedule, NBC reported.
The first lady said she planned to keep her schedule in Detroit, where she was set to visit public schools and discuss how federal funds are being used to address students’ mental health issues and Covid-related learning disruptions.
Read the full statement from the White House:
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. He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.
Consistent with White House protocol for positive COVID cases, which goes above and beyond CDC guidance, he will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative. Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work.
Out of an abundance of transparency, the White House will provide a daily update on the President’s status as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation.
Per standard protocol for any positive case at the White House, the White House Medical Unit will inform all close contacts of the President during 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.