“Biden’s diagnosis comes amid yet another COVID wave in the United States, driven this time by the BA.5 variant.”
President Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced on Thursday.
He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid.”
Biden “will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.”
Biden’s last previous test for COVID was Tuesday, when he had a negative test result, the statement said.
If Biden’s condition were to seriously deteriorate, he would have the option of temporarily transferring presidential power to Vice President Harris through the Constitution’s 25th Amendment. Harris served as acting president for a bit more than an hour in November, when Biden underwent anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy during a physical. President George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan also invoked the 25th Amendment for short windows during colonoscopies.