WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and went into self-isolation with mild symptoms, prompting the White House to show that the 79-year-old president can clear the virus and continue to work after they have been vaccinated and have received a booster dose.
Clad in a navy blue blazer and oxford shirt, Biden recorded a video from the balcony of the White House to send out the message that he will be fine and that the United States must remain calm and move on. He believes the pandemic is a national shock that has killed more than a million Americans and alarmed millions, and his words in the video posted on Twitter were intended to reassure the population.
“I’m fine, I’m working hard,” Biden said as an ice cream truck rumbled in the distance. “Meanwhile, I thank you for your concern. And keep the faith. Everything will be fine”.
The diagnosis laid bare one of the inevitable risks for a president who insisted on trying to reconnect with the world and ordinary Americans after a prolonged lockdown. It was a reminder that COVID-19, with its mutations and subtypes, remains a threat, and the White House also saw this opportunity as an opportunity to demonstrate progress in tackling the disease.
Government officials reminded the population that the prognosis for Biden is positive because he has received all the doses of vaccines he is eligible for, including two injections from the original schedule and two booster shots. He also receives treatment with Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that works to prevent more severe symptoms.
Dr Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, told reporters that he had a phone conversation with Biden and that the president “felt well.”
“He’s been working all morning,” Jha said. “He was not even able to finish his breakfast as he was busy. I encouraged him to finish his breakfast.”
Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a letter that the president had a runny nose and “tiredness, sometimes with a hacking cough, that began yesterday afternoon.” Jha said the President will be in isolation for five days and will be able to resume his normal activities after he tests negative for a clinical test.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the president’s symptoms “very mild,” noting that Biden has been in contact with staff members over the phone and has been attending their scheduled meetings by phone and email. Zoom from the presidential residence.
Asked where he might have got the disease, Jean-Pierre replied: “I don’t think it matters.” He also said the White House is focusing more on how Biden is feeling and will begin contact tracing.
The White House took pains to show that the president was busy working despite his diagnosis, and Biden tweeted a photo of himself taking a call from the treaty room of the presidential residence.
The president spoke on the phone with lawmakers in Pennsylvania and apologized Thursday for canceling his trip to the city of Wilkes-Barre to promote his plans for crime prevention. He also called on Rep. Jim Clyburn to wish him a happy birthday and congratulated him on receiving the award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Associated Press writers Shelley Adler, Seung Min Kim, Fatima Hussain and Mike Householder contributed to this report. Householder did it from Detroit.