US President Joe Biden has been diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, and is experiencing “very mild symptoms,” a White House statement said on Thursday, informs MIA.
“He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid,” the statement said. In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Biden will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time, the statement said.
“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 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, according to the statement.
“In line with 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 SARS-CoV-2 was on Tuesday, when he had a negative test result. The news comes a day after Biden visited the state of Massachusetts following a tour of the Middle East. There have been several infections among Biden’s administration and entourage recently, including those who are vaccinated against the airborne virus. Cases have also risen among politicians in Washington in recent months.
More than 60 people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 following an evening event in April, according to media reports, citing the organizers. Those infected included Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, several members of Congress, Vice President Kamala Harris’s communications director and other White House staff.
Harris would have to step in if Biden were unable to carry out his duties at any time due to the infection. Harris tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in April. Biden is not the first in the Oval Office to be diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2. His predecessor Donald Trump caught the virus in 2020, less than five weeks before the presidential election won by Biden.
At the time, no vaccines were available and Trump had to be hospitalized. Other world leaders have also caught the airborne virus, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.