WASHINGTON – On Thursday, after testing positive for COVID-19, President Joe Biden reassured the country that “everything will be fine.”
“Hey everyone, I bet you heard. “I tested positive for COVID this morning,” Biden, who is 79, said in a 21-second video posted on social media Thursday afternoon. “But I’ve been vaccinated twice and given two boosts. The symptoms aren’t bad.”
Biden, who didn’t have a mask on and seemed to be talking from the Truman Balcony of the White House, said he was doing well and getting a lot of work done.
“Until then, thank you for caring,” Biden said. “And don’t give up. It will be fine.”Even though Biden’s vaccinations should keep him from getting sick, the infection is a reminder that the pandemic he wanted to end is still a part of everyday life.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that more than 70% of Americans have been infected with COVID.
Still, COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said that he doesn’t think every American will get infected, even though there are highly contagious versions of the virus going around.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden will continue to work at the White House, where he will stay alone until he tests negative. During his isolation, she said, Biden’s health will be checked every day. Jean-Pierre said that Biden’s last test for COVID-19 was on Tuesday, and the result was negative.
Where Biden got COVID is still a mystery. Americans might never find out.
Jean-Pierre said, “I don’t think that makes a difference.” “What matters is that we were ready for this.
From the president’s COVID test, it was not possible to tell what kind of variant he had.
Jha said that a sample of the virus has been sent away to be sequenced, which will help scientists figure out how it is spreading. Sequencing usually takes about a week, but Biden’s case will be given priority, so Jha said that the results could come back sooner.
Jean-Pierre said that the White House has started tracking down people who were around the president in the last 48 hours. But, she said, “it’s not easy to figure out exactly where someone got COVID.”
She said, “We want to make sure that the people he was close to knowing about this if it is true that he had close contact with them.” “That is where our attention is right now.”
Jha says that Biden’s oxygen levels were checked as part of a full physical exam on Thursday morning.
“He’s getting enough air. “His level of oxygen is fine,” Jha said.
He also said that Biden’s doctor will decide how often it will be checked.
Biden will have to stop taking his medicines that lower his cholesterol and thin his blood for a while because of the Paxlovid.
“It’s fine and a pretty common thing to do,” Jha said.
Jean-Pierre wouldn’t say if there is a plan for Vice President Harris to take over if Biden’s health gets worse.
Jean-Pierre said, “The President isn’t too sick.” “He can take care of b
Harris went to Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday, where she spoke about affordable access to high-speed internet and met with North Carolina state lawmakers to talk about reproductive rights.
On Thursday, Harris’s test for COVID-19 came back negative.”
Jha said that the White House’s plans for dealing with the coronavirus were too relaxed.
Jha said Thursday afternoon that the protocol at the White House for COVID-19 has “done a very good job” of keeping the president safe.
“The president wants to get out and talk to people in the United States. We always said this could happen, “he said.
Jha also said that Biden’s “immune system is very well protected” because he has gotten four vaccine shots.
“He is being cared for. He isn’t too sick. He sounds happy in his words, “he said.
Jha said on Thursday that Biden’s risk of getting a serious illness is low because he has been vaccinated. He said that shows where the pandemic is in the U.S.
“I also want to take a moment to mark the fact that the president is now fully vaccinated and getting a second boost,” Jha said. “His chance of getting a serious illness has dropped by a lot.”
He said that Biden is being treated with Paxlovid, which is “a very strong antiviral” and “further lowers his risk of getting sick.”
“It’s a reminder of why we all work so hard to make sure that every American has the same level of protection as the President and the same level of immunity,” Jha said. He also said that the administration has “worked so hard to make sure that people have access to life-saving treatments. These are very important things for the president to have, and very important things for every American to have.”
Biden is the oldest person ever elected to the presidency. He had a physical in November, a day before his 79th birthday, and it was found that he was in good health overall.
Biden doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke, and he works out at least five days a week, according to a summary of his physical that his doctor put out.
Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s doctor, said that Biden’s constant coughing and clearing of the throat were likely signs of gastroesophageal reflux, which may also cause sinus congestion from time to time.
As part of the physical, a colonoscopy was done on Biden, and a single 3 mm polyp that seemed harmless was removed.
In December 2019, a three-page summary of Biden’s medical history was made public. It said that he had brain aneurysms in 1988, but that they haven’t come back.
To try to keep Biden safe from the coronavirus, the White House has safety rules that go above and beyond what is required by public health.
No one has to cover their faces, but all staff and visitors have to say they’ve been vaccinated or take a test every day. Every day, tests are done on people who are likely to be around Biden.
Daily tests must also be given to journalists who travel with the president or who are part of a small “pool” of reporters who cover his activities in the Washington area.
After Biden tested positive for COVID-19, the most powerful people in the U.S. and around the world are wishing him a speedy recovery.
Biden met with Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid when he was in Israel last week. Lapid tweeted, “On behalf of the people of Israel, I wish my friend, President @JoeBiden, a full and speedy recovery.”
Key allies on Capitol Hill, like Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also wanted the president to get better quickly.
The president also heard from some of the top Republicans.
I was sorry to hear that President Biden has tested positive for COVID-19. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) July 21, 2022
Biden’s COVID test came back positive for the first time on Thursday.
As part of Biden’s regular checkups, he was given an antigen test, which showed that the virus was there. Biden’s doctor said that a PCR test showed that the result was correct.
The White House said that Biden called Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., to wish him a happy birthday. The president also spoke with elected officials and lawmakers from Pennsylvania, such as Rep. Matt Cartwright and Sen. Bob Casey. Cartwright is from the area around Scranton, where Biden was supposed to go on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Biden went to Somerset, Massachusetts, and several important lawmakers flew with him on Air Force One. In Massachusetts, the president met with high-ranking officials from the state and the city.
Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., posted pictures of himself shaking hands with the president and standing next to him. His spokesman, Matt Corridoni, said that Auchincloss had tested negative for COVID before the trip. He also said that Auchincloss’s tests for COVID came back negative Thursday morning.
A representative from Sen. Ed Markey’s office said that the Massachusetts Democrat will be tested for the virus on Thursday morning.
Markey is tested often and will stay hidden and away from people as recommended by public health officials. His office says that Markey has had two shots and two boosters.
Her office says that, as close contact, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is following CDC advice and will stay in a mask. As part of White House rules, she had to test negative for COVID-19 before.
The CDC says that close contacts should take a COVID-19 test after five days.
Jen Psaki, who used to be the press secretary for the White House, said Thursday on MSNBC that she wasn’t surprised that Biden got COVID and that the White House had been preparing for this possibility for months, given how many people in the country have tested positive.
“Every White House, whether there’s a pandemic or not, is ready for the president to serve in a variety of places, including the White House while he or she is recovering from COVID,” she said.
She said that in the next few days, the White House needs to show that Biden is still working and that he is still president. And I’m pretty sure they’ll do that.
When the news of Biden’s diagnosis came out, Vice President Kamala Harris was on Air Force Two heading to Charlotte, North Carolina, for events on high-speed internet and reproductive rights.
Her spokesperson tweeted that Harris, who was diagnosed with COVID at the end of April, did not have COVID-19.
Kirsten Allen, who works for the White House press office, said that the last time Harris saw Biden was on Tuesday and that they talked on the phone Thursday morning.
Harris later told reporters, “He is in a good mood.”HH
Allen wrote on Twitter that the vice president won’t change her schedule, but she will keep her mask on.
First lady Jill Biden, who is out of town, told reporters Thursday morning that she spoke with the president.
She told him, “He’s fine.” “He’s feeling good.”
The first lady tested negative Thursday morning in Detroit, and her spokesman, Michael LaRosa, said that she will keep going with her full schedule in Michigan and Georgia.
LaRosa said that she will continue to wear a mask and stay away from other people as recommended by the CDC.
In a letter, Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said that Biden’s symptoms include a runny nose, tiredness, and a dry cough that started Wednesday night.
O’Connor said that he thinks Biden will respond well to Paxlovid, “as do most patients who are maximally protected.”
Biden went to Massachusetts on Wednesday, where he made plans to fight climate change.
He was supposed to go to Pennsylvania on Thursday for a fundraiser and to talk about how to improve law enforcement and cut down on gun violence.
Biden came back from a four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia on Sunday. Before he left, officials said he would try to “minimize contact” because COVID variants are becoming more common. Biden sometimes bumped fists instead of shaking hands, like when he met the controversial Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.
Pre-trip instructions said that people on Air Force One had to wear face masks and be tested for COVID.
The White House had said that Biden could get the virus, and the president was weighing the possible risks against getting back to normal activities.
“Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said on April 26 that it wasn’t just a matter of time. “But, of course, it’s possible that the president could get COVID, just like any other American.”
In April, Jen Psaki, who was then the White House press secretary, said that Biden’s doctors had said he could still do his job if he got the virus.
Psaki said at the time, “He has access to the best health care in the world.”
On Thursday, Jean-Pierre said that Biden was still at work.
Jean-Pierre wrote on Twitter, “I just talked to @POTUS.” “He said he was fine and that he was working from home.
Psaki herself tested positive for COVID at the end of March, several months after her last case.
Late in April, Kamala Harris, the vice president, tested positive, and in March, Doug Emhoff, the second gentleman, also tested positive. In March, Karine Jean-Pierre, who is now the press secretary, had a positive test.
In April, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California who is third in line to be president, three Cabinet secretaries, several members of Congress, and Biden’s sister all tested positive.
Pelosi said on Thursday that she hopes Biden’s symptoms “continue to be (light). That’s what I went through.”
In June, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the top government expert on infectious diseases, tested positive. After taking Paxlovid, he got another infection.
Biden has been vaccinated, and he got his first booster shot in September and his second at the end of March.
Also, the White House went above and beyond what the CDC suggested to keep Biden safe from the virus. Everyone who meets the president or travels with him is first put through a test. Psaki has said that Biden is also kept as far away from other people as possible. The president is also tested often.
Psaki has said that when Biden thinks it’s important for him to travel or go to an event in person, he looks at the risks involved, “just like many Americans do.”
“And that’s one of the reasons we want to make it clear that it’s possible he could test positive for COVID,” she said on April 26.
Biden could protect himself from serious illness even more by taking Paxlovid, which Harris was given.
Due to his age, Biden is at fairly high risk for a severe case. On the plus side, he doesn’t have any other major risk factors, like being overweight, having diabetes, asthma, or long-term lung disease.
Biden has urged Americans to get vaccinated and get their booster shots, saying that those who are protected can feel safer.
“There will be positive cases in every office, even here in the White House,” Biden said in December when omicron cases were rising in Washington and he was announcing new ways to fight the pandemic.
This year, COVID-19 has also been sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, Prime Minister Micheál Martin of Ireland, President Andrzej Duda of Poland, and President Arif Alvi of Pakistan.