President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19, White House says
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U.S. President Joe Biden tested positive for coronavirus on July 21, following a routine testing procedure, according to the president’s physician, Kevin O’Connor.
“President Biden is fully vaccinated, twice boosted, and experiencing mild symptoms following a positive COVID-19 test,” the White House said via a statement on Twitter.
The White House has taken steps to display a healthy president via social media, where a picture of the president was posted on his personal account, saying: “Folks, I'm doing great. Thanks for your concern.”
Biden is double vaccinated and double boosted, and while transmission risks are certainly lower, many say it was a matter of time before the president contracted the virus, given the frequency with which he is surrounded by staff and others.
Many leaders worldwide have contracted the virus — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have contracted the virus twice. However, Biden is the most senior to serve as president at 79.
In a briefing, Press Secretary Jean-Pierre said Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms,” which included a “runny nose” and the “occasional dry cough,” which reportedly started on July 20.
Press Sec. Jean-Pierre reads letter from Pres. Biden's physician, saying he is "mostly exhibiting mild symptoms," after testing positive for COVID-19.— ABC News (@ABC) July 21, 2022
"Early use of Paxlovid in this case provides additional protection against severe disease." https://t.co/mz2Yp1WWhT pic.twitter.com/kJWJTuo7bo
The president’s physician recommended using Paxlovid, a COVID-19 pill, as a form of treatment, given that the president meets the necessary criteria. Paxlovid underwent clinical trials, which resulted in an 89% reduction in hospitalization.
The drug, developed by Pfizer, was authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration in December of 2021, by prescription, for anyone ages 12 and older who weighs at least 88 pounds and is at high risk for severe disease.
The president’s physician anticipates a quick recovery.
COVID-19 was one of the president’s campaign priorities, criticizing former President Donald Trump’s initial response to the first waves of infection in 2020.
“After all this time, the president still does not have a plan,” Biden said. “Well, I do. If I’m your president, on Day 1, we’ll implement the national strategy I’ve been laying out since March.”
Through the American Rescue Plan, the president and his administration executed a vaccine campaign around the country and procured vaccines globally.
Presently, the U.S. struggles to contain emerging variants, such as Omicron B.A. 5, which is more likely to spread, even among those fully vaccinated. Although much more infectious, the White House and the Center for Disease and Control (CDC) maintain routine masking and vaccination requirements.
It remains unlikely that the country will enter a second lockdown.
In a statement, Jean-Pierre said the president canceled his appointments in Pennsylvania and continues to work from the White House residence.
According to Michael De La Rosa, special assistant to FLOTUS, Jill Biden is expected to keep her full schedule today to visit Detroit, Athens (Georgia), and finally land in Wilmington for the weekend.
In a statement to the press in Detroit, FLOTUS speaks on the president’s health.
“I talked to him just a few minutes ago. He’s doing fine, he’s feeling good.”