First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for Covid after experiencing “cold-like symptoms,” the White House announced on Tuesday. The positive diagnosis comes as the Biden family is wrapping up their vacation at Kiawah Island, South Carolina and just 10 days after President Joe Biden completed his Covid isolation.
According to the White House statement, Jill Biden is experiencing “mild symptoms” and has already isolated herself. The statement from White House also added that Biden, 79, tested negative for covid-19 on Tuesday morning. However, he will continue to wear a mask for 10 days indoors and around other people because he is close to his wife.
Wife Follows Husband
The first lady’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, announced the positive test and said that Jill Bide, 71, would stay in South Carolina until she receives two Covid-19 results that are negative. The Bidens had been on vacation in South Carolina since August 10 and the first lady started exhibiting “cold-like symptoms” on Monday.
Jill Biden has received two doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, much like her husband. She will isolate in the vacation home for at least five days while taking the antiviral medication Paxlovid.
Biden too is taking precautions because he was in close contact with the First Lady. “Consistent with Centers for CDC guidance because he is a close contact of the First Lady, he will mask for 10 days when indoors and in close proximity to others,” the White House said.
“We will also increase the President’s testing cadence and report those results.”
Change in Plan?
Biden was scheduled to return to Washington on Tuesday to sign the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $437 billion in spending on mostly environmental programs, and is offset by tax increases, an IRS crackdown, and savings from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
The president was scheduled to travel to his home in Delaware on Tuesday night. Whether the first lady’s positive test would affect those plans wasn’t immediately clear.
The East Wing said that Jill Biden was having Covid for the first time. When her husband fell ill with the illness last month, she stayed in Delaware and avoided him while he quarantined himself at the White House.
She had planned to go to Florida for a Warriors Games event on Thursday, but she will now have to change her travel arrangements.
Jill Biden’s case comes nearly a month after the president first tested positive for COVID July 21, shortly after returning from a trip to the Middle East. Joe Biden tested positive days after initially testing negative five days after his initial infection in a “rebound” coronavirus case. After spending another eight days in isolation, he was given the all-clear to leave on August 7.
Even after recovering from Covid-19, a person is still susceptible to contracting the virus.
According to the CDC, the virus continues to kill 411 people on average every day in the U.S. after more than two years and more than 1 million deaths in the country. According to the public health department, those who have not received the immunizations are at a much higher risk and are more than twice as likely to test positive and nine times more likely to die from the virus.