WASHINGTON – Joe Biden, the oldest president in US history, has tested positive for COVID-19, is experiencing mild symptoms, and will continue working but in isolation, the White House announced on Thursday.
Biden, 79, has a runny nose, fatigue, and an occasional dry cough, which began late Wednesday, according to White House physician Kevin O’Connor in a note released on Thursday. According to O’Connor, Biden has started taking the antiviral medication Paxlovid.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, Biden said he was “doing well” after being fully vaccinated and twice boosted. He also stated in the 21-second clip that he was “getting a lot of work done” and would continue with his duties.
On his Twitter account, he was seen smiling, wearing a blazer, and sitting at a desk with papers.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID coordinator, said Biden’s oxygen levels were normal and that the president would isolate for five days before returning to public events if the COVID test came back negative.
Biden became ill at a time when his administration is grappling with soaring inflation, global supply challenges, mass shootings and Russia’s land assault on Ukraine.
His illness forced cancellation of a trip to Pennsylvania where Biden intended to lay out plans to ask Congress for $37 billion for crime prevention programs.
The White House provided an unusually detailed account of the president’s morning activities, including a series of phone calls to political allies, and said people who had come into close contact with Biden were being told of his illness.
Vice President Kamala Harris was in close contact with Biden on Tuesday, a White House official said. Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, told MSNBC he was as well, but he said that so far no one linked to the president’s case had tested positive. – Reuters