US President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19. The White House announced that the president began treatment with an antiretroviral and that he will continue in his role, although isolated.
US President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19, as confirmed by the White House on July 21, noting that the president is experiencing “very mild” symptoms of the virus, which has rebounded in recent weeks in that country.
Among the symptoms presented by the oldest president in the United States are fatigue, a runny nose and an occasional dry cough, White House physician Kevin O’Connor said in a written statement.
Biden began treatment with the antiretroviral drug Paxlovid, a drug authorized to reduce the effects of the disease.
Experts point out that when this drug, produced by the Pfizer laboratory, is administered within five days of the onset of symptoms, it has been shown to achieve a 90% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to suffer. to develop a serious condition.
After landing in DC following his speech yesterday, a maskless Joe Biden spent several minutes speaking face-to-face with reporters.
Today, the White House announced that they have tested positive for COVID. pic.twitter.com/KpBgnz5Qtf
—Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 21, 2022
In addition, the president is vaccinated and with his schedule up to date. Biden received two doses of Pfizer’s antidote to the coronavirus shortly before taking office in January 2021, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose on March 30.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre added that Biden, 79, will be isolated but will continue to perform his duties and his office will provide a daily update on the president’s health status.
The Democratic ruler, who just returned from a tour of the Middle East where he met with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders, among others, had tested negative for Covid-19 on Tuesday, July 19, according to Jean-Pierre. .
However, after the results of a new test, the political leader now sees the meetings stipulated in his agenda frustrated and his trips will be cancelled.
For this Thursday he had scheduled a visit to Pennsylvania, in order to present his plans on crime prevention and attend a fundraiser for the Democratic Party.
Vice President Kamala Harris tested negative for Covid-19
After confirming the contagion of the US president, the White House reported that Vice President Kamala Harris tested negative for the virus carried out in the last few hours.
His press team assured that the last time Harris was in contact with the head of state was last Tuesday. The political leader, who contracted and overcame the disease last April without major complications, will continue in her role under the guidance of the medical team.
Meanwhile, the first lady Jill Biden affirmed that she did not show a positive result in a virus test that was carried out this Thursday, so she will continue with her scheduled visits to Michigan and Georgia.
However, it will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the use of masks and distancing, said its spokesman, Michael LaRosa.
“He’s fine (…) He feels fine,” Jill Biden told the press when she arrived for an event at a Detroit school, after being questioned about her husband’s health.
Top White House officials in recent months have been realistic about the likelihood that the president will contract Covid-19, amid a surge in infections in the United States, but according to experts with less threat to those who have the complete immunization schedule and access to treatment.
The United States has registered a rebound in Covid-19 infections
After more than two years and more than a million deaths in the US, the virus is still killing an average of 353 people a day in the country, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Unvaccinated people are at higher risk, more than twice as likely to contract the disease and nine times more likely to die from the virus than those who have received at least one dose of the immunization shots, the public health agency notes.
Currently, the highly transmissible Omicron variant is the dominant strain in the United States, but scientists say it poses a lower risk of serious illness in those who are up-to-date on their vaccinations. The BA.5 sub-strain, thought to be even more contagious, now accounts for more than 65% of cases in the country.
“There are many infections throughout the United States,” the White House health emergency response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, warned on May 18, who, in addition to the presence of the variants, pointed to the relaxation of measures such as the non-requirement to wear masks, as the main causes of a spike in infections.
Cases had dropped sharply across the country earlier this year, when Biden again highlighted his administration’s efforts to end the pandemic and help the nation get back to normal.
But in recent weeks, the alerts have gone off again when the authorities have asked the population to take precautions against the BA.5 variant. Once again, they appealed to the inhabitants to make sure they have booster vaccinations and consider the use of masks in indoor spaces with a large influx of people.
The White House has tried to go beyond public health guidelines to protect the president, with all visitors and staff required to certify their vaccination status or undergo daily testing. Also, people who are expected to be very close to Biden are tested daily.
Still, Biden has increasingly shown a willingness to participate in larger indoor events in recent months, activities riskier for contracting the virus, and many have seen the presence of people without masks.
The president has spent much of the past week in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Saudi Arabia. White House officials said the president planned to minimize contact during the trip, but as soon as he stepped off Air Force One on Wednesday, July 13, the president was seen bumping fists, shaking hands and even giving an occasional hug.
With Reuters, AP and local media