White House says that President Biden is not at risk of serious illness after testing positive for COVID-19

White House officials said in a briefing Thursday that President Joe Biden is taking an antiviral and isn’t expected to have serious illness, this after testing positive for COVID-19, White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters that Biden is fully up to date on his vaccines and has been prescribed Paxlovid to treat the virus.  Dr. Jha said during a White House briefing: “Because the president is fully vaccinated, double boosted, his risk of serious illness is dramatically lower. Our expectation is that he’s going to have mild illness.”

Biden has been tested for COVID-19 regularly since taking office, but has never had a positive result before Thursday. Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement: “This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms.nHe has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”  Additionally, Biden’s travel has been cancelled for at least the next five days; Jean-Pierre said: “Out of an abundance of transparency, 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 later posted a video on Twitter saying he’s “doing great” and continuing to work. “Keep the faith,” he said. “It’s going to be OK.”

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