President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms,” she said. “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.”
Biden had been scheduled to speak Thursday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., as he proposes to spend $37 billion to fight crime and help communities hire more police officers. But Jean-Pierre said the president now won’t do any in-person work.
“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,” she said.
The spokeswoman said the White House will provide a daily update on the president’s status, adding that his prior COVID test had been on Tuesday, when the result was negative. First lady Jill Biden has tested negative, according to multiple published reports.
Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor, said in a letter released by the White House that the president is “currently experiencing very mild symptoms, mostly rinorrhea (or ‘runny nose’) and fatigue, with an occasional dry cough.”
The doctor also said he anticipates that Biden “will respond favorably” to Paxlovid, and early use of the drug provides additional protection against severe disease.
Former president Donald Trump tested positive for COVID while in office, with his case coming in early October 2020.