White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday that it doesn’t matter where President Biden contracted COVID-19, and that the most important thing is that he was fully vaccinated and double boosted.
Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning and is experiencing mild symptoms, including a runny nose, occasional dry cough and fatigue, the White House said.
Reporters asked Dr. Ashish Jha, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, during a press briefing where Biden may have caught the virus. After Jha said he didn’t know, Jean-Pierre interjected to say it’s not important.
“Look, I don’t think that that matters, right? I think what matters is we’re prepared for this moment,” she said.
“I think what matters is what Dr. Jha just laid out. If we look at where we were a year and a half ago, this is a president, when he walked in, one of his first priorities was to make sure we had a comprehensive plan to get people vaccinated,” she continued. “And so now we look to today, more and more people are getting closer to having a more normal life, vaccines are available.
“And as Dr. Jha said, if you have not gotten vaccinated, please do,” she added. “If you have not gotten boosted, please do. These are treatments that are going to keep you safe. And I think that’s what matters here, is making sure that we continue to do the work. And the good thing is that the president, again, has been vaccinated and double boosted.”
The president has begun treatment with the drug Paxlovid, which is currently authorized for the treatment of “mild-to-moderate COVID-19.” The antiviral drug has been proven to curb the worst effects of the disease, showing positive results of direct viral testing for those at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19, according to the FDA.
Biden’s latest previous test for COVID-19 was Tuesday, when he had a negative test result, the White House said.
The announcement came one day after Biden traveled on Air Force One to Massachusetts with top administration officials as well as Massachusetts Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, and Reps. Jake Auchincloss and Bill Keating.
The official Twitter account for President Biden later tweeted a photo of him sitting at his desk with a pen in hand overlooking some papers.
“Folks, I’m doing great. Thanks for your concern,” the message from the president said. “Just called Senator Casey, Congressman Cartwright, and Mayor Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today. Keeping busy!”
First lady Jill Biden told reporters that she tested negative for COVID-19 and will be keeping her schedule Thursday in accordance with CDC guidelines.