US President Joe Biden ‘doing great’ after testing positive for Covid

President Joe Biden pictured at his desk in the White House on Thursday
US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 and is isolating at the White House.

The 79-year-old, who is fully-vaccinated and has twice received booster jabs, is experiencing “very mild symptoms” and will continue to carry out all his duties, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The president is taking the antiviral medicine Paxlovid, her statement added.

In a tweet Mr Biden said he was “doing great” and “keeping busy”.

His wife First Lady Jill Biden said she had tested negative.

Consistent with White House protocol the president will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative, Ms Jean-Pierre said and will take part in meetings via telephone and Zoom.

White House Covid-19 coordinator Dr Ashish Jha said the president was tired, with a runny nose and dry cough. He said Mr Biden went to bed feeling fine but did not sleep well and then tested positive on Thursday morning.

In a press briefing at the White House on Thursday afternoon, Ms Jean Pierre said that Mr Biden had continued working throughout the day and held calls with a number of US mayors and government officials.

Dr Jha said that Mr Biden’s vaccination status meant that his risk of serious illness was “dramatically lower”, and was further reduced by the anti-viral drug he was now taking. He added that Mr Biden will return to normal activities after a negative test.

The White House medical unit will inform all close contacts of the president during the day, Ms Jean-Pierre said earlier, including any members of Congress or members of the press who were with Mr Biden during his visit to Massachusetts on Wednesday. It is unclear where he was infected.

First Lady Mrs Biden said she had spoken to her husband and he was “doing fine”.

“He’s feeling good. I tested negative this morning. I’m going to keep my schedule. According to CDC guidelines, I’m keeping masked,” she said.

Mr Biden, who is the oldest president in US history and turns 80 this year, last tested negative for Covid-19 on Tuesday, the White House said.

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