President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19, is experiencing ‘mild

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President Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19, is experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ | Fortune © 2022 Fortune Media IP Limited. All Rights Reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our u003ca href=”https://fortune.com/terms-of-use/”>Terms of Useu003c/a> and u003ca href=”https://fortune.com/privacy-policy/”>Privacy Policyu003c/a> | u003ca href=”/california-privacy-policy/#notice”>CA Notice at Collection and Privacy Noticeu003c/a> | u003ca href=”https://submit-irm.trustarc.com/services/validation/156c4fed-e974-444a-8352-55333c91c0e6″>Do Not Sell My Personal Informationu003c/a> | u003ca href=”http://preferences-mgr.trustarc.com/?pid=fortunemedia01&aid=fortunemedia01_pub&type=fortunemedia”>Ad Choices u003c/a>u003cbr />nFORTUNE is a trademark of Fortune Media IP Limited, registered in the U.S. and other countries. FORTUNE may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. 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Biden”,”topics”:[{“term_id”:447849484,”name”:”coronavirus”,”slug”:”coronavirus”,”term_group”:0,”term_taxonomy_id”:214663,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”description”:””,”parent”:0,”count”:5780,”filter”:”raw”},{“term_id”:447824299,”name”:”Joe Biden”,”slug”:”joe-biden”,”term_group”:0,”term_taxonomy_id”:118539,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”description”:””,”parent”:0,”count”:732,”filter”:”raw”}]},”children”:[{“name”:”gutenberg-content”,”config”:{},”children”:[{“name”:”html”,”config”:{“content”:”u003cdiv class=”plea-block with-bottom-border”>nu003cp>Sign up for the u003cem>u003ca href=”https://mynewsletters.fortune.com/fortune-features”>Fortune Featuresu003c/a>u003c/em> email list so you don’t miss our biggest features, exclusive interviews, and investigations.u003c/p>nu003c/div>n u003cp>President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, underscoring the persistence of the highly contagious virus as new variants challenge the nation’s efforts to resume normalcy after two and a half years of pandemic disruptions.u003c/p> u003cp>White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden was experiencing “mild symptoms” and has begun taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug designed to reduce the severity of the disease.u003c/p> u003cp>She said Biden “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 u003ca href=”https://fortune.com/company/zoom” target=”_blank”>Zoomu003c/a> from the residence.”u003c/p> u003cp>Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated, after getting two doses of the u003ca href=”https://fortune.com/company/pfizer” target=”_blank”>Pfizeru003c/a> coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose March 30.u003c/p> u003cp>Up to this point, Biden’s ability to avoid the virus seemed to defy the odds, even with the testing procedures in place for those expected to be in close contact with him. Prior waves of the virus swept through Washington’s political class,u003ca href=”https://fortune.com/2022/04/26/vice-president-kamala-harris-tests-positive-for-covid-19/”> infecting Vice President Kamala Harrisu003c/a>, Cabinet members, White House staffers and lawmakers. Biden has increasingly stepped up his travel schedule and resumed holding large indoor events where not everyone is tested.u003c/p> u003cdiv id=”favorites_widget” class=”favorites_widget”>u003c/div>n u003cp>Top White House officials in recent months have been matter-of-fact about the likelihood of the president getting COVID, a measure of how engrained the virus has become in society—and of its diminished threat for those who are up to date on their vaccinations and with access to treatments.u003c/p> u003cp>When administered within five days of symptoms appearing, u003ca href=”https://fortune.com/well/2022/06/17/paxlovid-side-effects-drug-interactions-rebound-infections/”>Paxlovidu003c/a>, produced by drugmaker Pfizer, has been proven to bring about a 90% reduction in hospitalizations and deaths among patients most likely to get severe disease.u003c/p> u003cp>In an April 30 speech to more than 2,600 attendees at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, Biden acknowledged the risks of attending large events, but said it was worthwhile to attend.u003c/p> u003cp>“I know there are questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of COVID,” he said. “Well, we’re here to show the country that we’re getting through this pandemic.”u003c/p> u003cp>Biden is far from the first world leader—and not the first U.S. president—to get the coronavirus, which has infected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and more than a dozen other leaders and high-ranking officials globally.u003c/p> u003cp>When Biden’s predecessor, President Donald Trump, contracted the disease in October 2020, it was a far different time. Vaccines were not available and treatment options were limited and less advanced. After being diagnosed with COVID-19 at the White House, Trump was given an experimental antibody treatment and steroids after his blood oxygen levels fell dangerously low. He was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for three daysu003c/p> u003cp>While much of the world has resumed normal rhythms after the early lockdowns to control spikes in cases and deaths, the virus still serves as a disrupter in daily life as people are forced to change plans, isolate and calculate the risks of taking part in various activities.u003c/p> 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