President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday morning, the White House confirmed in a statement to American Military News.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in the statement.
In a letter the White House provided to American Military News, White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms” including running nose, fatigue, and dry cough that began yesterday.
O’Connor added that he has recommended Biden began taking Paxlovid, a prescription medication approved by the FDA under emergency authorization.
“The President is fully vaccinated and twice-boosted, so I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most maximally protected patients do. Early use of PAXLOVID in this case provides additional protection against severe disease,” O’Connor said.
Biden, 79, is the oldest president in U.S. history.
He initially tested positive via antigen testing during routine screening. The test result was then confirmed via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing.
Biden has begun isolating at the White House in accordance with CDC guidelines and is expected to continue conducting his full duties, Jean-Pierre said. He has already had phone contact with White House staff on Thursday morning, and has additional phone and Zoom meetings planned throughout the day.
He will continue to work remotely in isolation until testing negative, at which point he’ll resume regular in-person duties.
Jean-Pierre said 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.”
Biden was last tested for COVID on Tuesday, at which point he tested negative.
Last week, Biden had taken a trip to the Middle East, during which he met with leaders from Israel, Iraq, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. He returned to the White House on Sunday.
Biden was slated to travel to Pennsylvania on Thursday to deliver a gun control speech at Wilkes University, as well as to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraising reception. All his travel plans have been canceled for at least the next five days.