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Watch live: President Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has ‘mild symptoms’

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WASHINGTON – 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.

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.

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 Zoom from the residence.”

Biden, 79, is fully vaccinated, after getting two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose March 30.

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, infecting Vice President Kamala Harris, 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.

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.

When administered within five days of symptoms appearing, Paxlovid, 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.

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.

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.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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