Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has ‘very mild symptoms’

President Joe Biden participates in a conference phone call with governors affected by a snowstorm in the Midwest and southwest Feb. 16, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. | White House/Lawrence Jackson

President Joe Biden has contracted COVID-19 but is only experiencing mild symptoms, according to a statement by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The fully vaccinated and twice boosted Biden tested positive on Thursday morning, though Jean-Pierre noted that the 79-year-old commander-in-chief is experiencing "very mild symptoms."

"I just spoke with [Biden]. He said he feels fine, and he's working from the residence," Jean-Pierre wrote on Twitter Thursday.

Biden tweeted from his official Twitter account to thank people for their concerns and to assure them that he was doing well, despite being COVID-19 positive.

"Folks, I'm doing great. Thanks for your concern. Just called Senator Casey, Congressman Cartwright, and Mayor Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today. Keeping busy!" he tweeted.

According to Jean-Pierre, Biden has begun taking the anti-viral drug Paxlovid and will isolate at the White House while carrying out his duties. 

"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," Jean-Pierre said in her statement. 

"Out of an abundance of transparency, 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."

A White House official told a pool reporter on background that Vice President Kamala Harris tested negative for COVID-19 even though she was with Biden on Tuesday. 

Harris tested positive for COVID-19 in April. The 57-year-old Harris, who was also fully vaccinated and boosted, had an asymptomatic case of COVID-19, according to a statement from the White House at the time, reported Politico.

News of Biden's positive test comes a couple of days after his administration announced the approval of the latest vaccine against COVID-19, a protein-based product by Novavax.

The Novavax vaccine received approval from both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a statement by Biden on Tuesday.

"We now have four safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to protect Americans against serious illness, hospitalizations, and death," Biden stated.

"I encourage everyone to get their booster if they are eligible. If you're age 50 or older, or a moderately or severely immunocompromised individual, and haven't gotten a vaccine shot this year—you should get one right away. It is free, easy, and could save your life."

Some have considered the Novavax vaccine to be a more ethical vaccine than earlier ones, as its creators claim that they did not use aborted fetal cells as part of their research.

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