By Miriam Raftery
July 21, 2022 This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. According to a White House briefing, he is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. The 79-year-old President has begun taking Paxlovid, an anti-viral medication effective during the first several days after symptoms appear.
According to the White House physician Kevin O’Connor’s letter, those symptoms include a runny nose, fatigue and a dry cough.
The President’s last negative test was Tuesday; the positive result was found during routine testing for the President. All contacts since Tuesday will be notified, per the White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“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,” the release states.
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.
Biden is not the first U.S. leader to contract COVID-19. Former President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 in 2020 and reportedly tested positive shortly before his debate with Joe Biden, but did not disclose the results.
Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive in April but reportedly had no symptoms. She has thus far tested negative today, though she was in close contact with Biden on Tuesday during a presidential briefing. Harris has not changed her schedule and today met with North Carolina legislative leaders at the White House to discuss reproductive rights.