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Biden tests positive for COVID-19

President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning, the White House announced.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden, 79, is experiencing “very mild symptoms” and has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral therapy recommended by Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician.

According to O’Connor, Biden developed symptoms on Wednesday night — a runny nose, fatigue, and the occasional dry cough.

The president will continue to work remotely from his residence in the White House, where he is expected to self-isolate for at least five days under current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jean-Pierre said Biden has been in contact with members of White House staff by phone and will participate in his scheduled meetings “via phone and zoom” from the residence.

President Biden speaks on climate change and clean energy Wednesday at Brayton Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts.

President Biden speaks on climate change and clean energy Wednesday at Brayton Power Station in Somerset, Massachusetts. (Evan Vucci/AP)

“Once he tests negative, he will return to personal work,” said Jean-Pierre. His last prior test for COVID was Tuesday which came back negative.

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“Out of an abundance of transparency,” she added, “the White House will provide a daily update on the status of the president as he continues to perform his full duties of the office while in isolation.”

According to a White House official, Vice President Kamala Harris, who was last with Biden on Tuesday, tested negative. Her trip to Charlotte, NC, went as planned.

First lady Jill Biden, who is in Detroit, told reporters she tested negative Thursday morning and will maintain her travel schedule while wearing a mask and social distancing, per CDC guidelines.

She added that the president is “doing well”.

“I only spoke to him a few minutes ago,” she said. “He’s fine, he’s feeling good.”

In a subsequent tweet, the president — who was scheduled to travel to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania — said he felt “great.”

He also posted a follow-up video.

Biden is fully vaccinated and boosted twice. He received his first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shortly before his inauguration in January 2021. He received a booster shot from Pfizer in September and another in late March.

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The president had appeared without a mask at several events in recent days, including Wednesday at an event in Somerset, Mass. -Mass., and Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry.

The White House medical unit is in the process of contacting anyone who had contact with Biden during the trip, Jean-Pierre said.

President Biden greets supporters after making comments on climate change in Somerset, Massachusetts, on Wednesday.

Biden greets supporters in Somerset, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The news of Biden’s positive test comes amid a flurry of cases in the United States driven by more transmissible Omicron subvariants, such as BA.5.

There have been more than 90 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University — far more than any other country in the world.

More than 1,025,000 Americans have died due to complications from COVID-19.

Read the memo from the president’s doctor below.

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