Joe Biden, 79 and the oldest president ever elected in the United States, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday but has only “very mild symptoms,” according to a statement from his office. spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.
The Democrat, who until now had never tested positive, “started taking Paxlovid”, the anti-Covid pill from Pfizer, and will isolate himself at the White House until he tests negative again, she said.
The president, fully vaccinated and who received two doses recall, “will continue to assume full duties” during this time, according to the statement.
“He was in contact with members of the White House team by phone this morning, and he will participate in meetings scheduled for this morning at the White House by phone and Zoom” from his private quarters, clarified Karine Jean-Pierre.
“For the sake of great transparency”, the White House has promised to communicate “every day” on the state of health of Joe Biden, whom a medical examination last November had found “robust” and “fit” to exercise his functions.
The last negative test of the American head of state, who last week toured Israel and Saudi Arabia, dated back to Tuesday, said Karine Jean-Pierre.
The president, who wants to campaign before legislative elections in November, had initially planned a trip to Pennsylvania on Thursday and another to Florida next Monday.
The United States is currently registering around 130,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day, an underestimated figure according to experts, and the number of hospitalizations is also on the rise. The highly contagious BA.5 subvariant of Omicron is dominant in the country, where it accounts for about 80% of cases.
– Paxlovid – Paxlovid, which Joe Biden takes, is an antiviral treatment which works by decreasing the ability of the virus to replicate, thus slowing the progression of the disease. It must be taken within the first few days after symptoms appear to be effective.
It is recommended in the United States for people at risk of developing a severe case of the disease, a category in which between the American president because of his age.
Joe Biden's predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, announced on October 2, 2020 on Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
He had been evacuated by helicopter from the White House to the Walter Reed military hospital, and had been treated there for three nights.