The president, who is 79 years old, is reportedly feeling fine with mild symptoms. The COVID diagnosis comes not long after Vice-President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 in April, as well as his chief medical advisor, Anthony Fauci, testing positive more recently in June.
An official statement from the White House disclosed that the president is taking Paxlovid, a relatively new oral antiviral pill developed to treat COVID-19.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19. He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time. 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,” the statement read.
Biden’s contraction of the virus, despite his mild symptoms, is still nevertheless concerning. The presidency is a notoriously taxing job even without a global pandemic, and has been known to age individuals far younger than he is. While the president may have contracted a mild strain of the coronavirus, he is still inevitably in a high-risk group, with 75 to 84-year-olds being eight times more likely to be hospitalized and 140 times more likely to die from the virus than the average 18-year-old in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Biden’s contraction of the virus draws even more uncertainty regarding his health, and whether he is truly fit to serve as president. Doubts continue to be cast on the president’s mental health, with rumors of cognitive decline gaining traction.
Biden’s contraction of the virus comes after his administration tried to force companies with more than 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. The move garnered far more outrage than initially expected. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) did not have the authority to enforce such an order, and the initiative was dead in the water.