Joe Biden tests positive for Covid, White House says
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Mr Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms” and has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug designed to reduce the severity of the disease.
She said Biden “will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time”.
“He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence,” she added.
Mr Biden, 79, has received four doses of the Covid vaccine. He was given his fourth booster shot on March 30.
Paxlovid, produced by Pfizer, has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death by 90 per cent.
Mr Biden is far from the first world leader to contract the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalised with the disease in April 2020, while French President Emmanuel Macron has also tested positive.
Mr Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump also contracted the virus in October 2020 – before the rollout of vaccines. Mr Trump was given an experimental antibody treatment and steroids after his blood oxygen levels fell dangerously low.
First Lady Jill Biden tested negative for the virus on Thursday morning, the White House said.