President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced Thursday.

“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”

“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,” Jean-Pierre added. “Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work.”

She added that the White House will provide a daily update on his condition “out of an abundance of transparency.”

The White House Medical Unit will also inform all close contacts of Biden of his exposure during the day Thursday, including members of Congress and the media who interacted with him on Wednesday, Jean-Pierre added.

The 79-year-old had just returned from a far-ranging diplomatic trip to the Middle East. Elderly people are considered to be more vulnerable to severe COVID than younger folks.

The news came as the United States has seen coronavirus cases spike as the BA.5 subvariant takes over the country. The highly contagious subvariant, which appears to be the best yet at eluding the power of vaccines against infection, now accounts for nearly 78% of all U.S. cases.

More information

Visit Yale Medicine for more on the BA.5 variant.

SOURCE: U.S. White House, statement, July 21, 2022

Source: HealthDay

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