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President Joe Biden tests positive for Covid-19, has 'very mild symptoms'

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President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, making him the second U.S. president to get the virus and underscoring the extent to which the virus has infiltrated American society.

The 79-year-old Biden is fully vaccinated after getting two initial doses of the coronavirus vaccine and two boosters since.

When a fully vaccinated person experiences a breakthrough infection, the chance of severe illness or death is low.

The announcement highlights the unpredictable nature of a virus that has now infected numerous world leaders, despite an urgent global vaccination drive and feverish efforts at containment.

Statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

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.

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