President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday, something the White House had taken extra steps to avoid as highly transmissible strains struck top aides, Cabinet members, the president’s chief medical adviser and the vice president.
Biden, 79, is experiencing “very mild” symptoms and is taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“Folks, I’m doing great,” Biden tweeted midday. “Keeping busy!”
“I just spoke with @POTUS,” Jean-Pierre wrote on Twitter. “He said he feels fine, and he’s working from the residence.”
While Biden’s vaccinations should protect him against serious illness, the infection is a blow to the administration’s efforts to show the president is on top of the pandemic that has disrupted the country for more than two years.
Biden will continue to work at the White House, where he will isolate until he tests negative, according to Jean-Pierre. Daily updates on Biden’s condition will be given during his isolation, she said.
Biden had last been tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday, when his result was negative, according to Jean-Pierre.