Joe Biden tested positive for COVID Thursday morning. According to the White House, the president—who is fully vaccinated and twice boosted— is “experiencing very mild symptoms” and has begun taking the anti-viral treatment Paxlovid. He is isolating at the White House.
“I talked to him just a few minutes ago," First Lady Jill Biden told reporters of the president. "He’s doing fine, he’s feeling good.”
Biden, 79, began experiencing symptoms Wednesday night, according to a memo from the physician to the president Kevin O'Connor. As of Thursday the president had a runny nose, an occasional dry cough and fatigue. “I anticipate he will respond favorably,” O'Connor wrote.
The White House said it would “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 Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. Biden is following White House Covid protocol and is expected to work remotely until he receives a negative test, which goes further than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's quarantine guidance.
Jill Biden, who had close contact with the president, tested negative as of Thursday morning, according to the White House. The first lady is keeping to her schedule with a mask, her team told reporters; she's in Michigan and expected to travel to Georgia on a tour of summer learning programs aimed at helping children who fell behind during the pandemic.
This is the first time Biden has tested positive for Covid, though several members of his administration have contracted the virus in the last year. Former president Donald Trump tested positive for Covid while in office — in October 2020 — months before the approval of any vaccines. Trump was transferred to Walter Reed for several days, where he received various trial treatments.
His positive result comes as cases spike across the country with the spread of the new Omicron variant.
This is a developing story.