Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, "very mild symptoms"

US President Joe Biden, 79, “tested positive for Covid-19” on Thursday and has “very mild symptoms,” his spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

The Democrat, who so far had never tested positive, “started taking Paxlovid”, Pfizer’s anti-Covid pill, and will isolate himself at the White House until he is in new negative, she said.

The president, fully vaccinated and who has received two booster doses, “will continue to assume his full duties” during this time, according to the press release.

The White House has promised to communicate “every day” on the state of health of Joe Biden, the oldest president ever elected in the United States and whom a medical examination last November found “robust” and “fit” to exercise its functions.

Joe Biden’s last negative test, returning from a tour last week in Israel and Saudi Arabia, dated back to Tuesday, said Karine Jean-Pierre.

The president had originally 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.

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