Biden says ‘doing great’ after positive Covid test
President Joe Biden said Thursday he was “doing great” after testing positive for Covid at the age of 79, vowing to continue to work while isolating at the White House with only mild symptoms.
Biden’s personal physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in an official note that the US president was experiencing fatigue, a runny nose and an occasional dry cough, starting on Wednesday evening.
“Hey folks, I guess you heard this morning I tested positive for Covid,” said the president, wearing a blazer, no tie and the hint of a smile.
Announcing the diagnosis, the White House stressed that the president was fully vaccinated and twice boosted. It said Biden was taking Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill, an antiviral used to minimize the severity of Covid-19.
The president tested positive in a rapid antigen test Thursday morning before the result was confirmed by a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test.
A physical exam in November last year found Biden “fit for duty.”
Politically Biden is also in a tough phrase of his presidency, facing November midterm elections that are forecast to be painful for his Democratic Party, as well as declining personal approval ratings.
The president had planned to spend more time on the ground in the United States in the coming weeks after a period of intense overseas travel, including a NATO summit in Spain and a controversial trip to Saudi Arabia.
The CDC, the leading US government health agency, says that older adults are more likely to get severely sick from Covid-19, with risk increasing with age.
The country is seeing some 130,000 new reported cases daily, but the figure is thought to be substantially underestimated since home tests are not typically reported to authorities.
While other members of Biden’s family and many close advisors contracted the virus, the president had remained Covid free until now.
Biden last tested negative on Tuesday, and his officials pledged to provide a daily health update as proof of transparency, as criticism grew that he was not tested on Wednesday.
“Because the president is fully vaccinated, double boosted, his risk of serious illness is dramatically lower,” Jha said.
Briefing reporters, Biden’s spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed questions about where and how he caught the virus, saying “I don’t think that matters.”
“I talked to him just a few minutes ago. He’s doing fine, he’s feeling good,” First Lady Jill Biden, who tested negative, told reporters Thursday morning during a visit to a school in Michigan.
“Wishing you… a swift recovery from #COVID19. Stay strong!” tweeted World Health Organization chief Tedros Ghebreyesus.
Then-president Trump tested positive for coronavirus in October 2020 — in the middle of the bitterly fought election race he eventually lost to Biden.
Originally published as Biden says ‘doing great’ after positive Covid test