First Lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19.
Mrs. Biden is experiencing mild symptoms and will remain at her Rehoboth Beach, Delaware home, according to a Sept. 4 statement from Elizabeth Alexander, the First Lady’s communications director.
“Following the First Lady’s positive test for COVID-19, President Biden was administered a COVID test this evening,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a separate statement. “The President tested negative.”
“The President will test at a regular cadence this week and monitor for symptoms,” Jean-Pierre added.
Mrs. Biden has repeatedly promoted the COVID-19 vaccine and stressed the importance of bivalent booster shots during a town hall in October 2022. She directed Americans to get the vaccine to “be protected in time for winter holiday gatherings.”
“These moments seem even more precious now knowing what it’s like to lose them to a deadly disease that kept us apart,” she said at the event which was attended by White House COVID Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and Dr. Anthony Fauci, per ABC News.
This is the second time the First Lady has contracted COVID-19. She tested positive for the virus in August of 2022 while on vacation with the president in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 in July of 2022.
Biden spent Labor Day in Philadelphia before returning to the White House without his wife. He is scheduled to attend the G20 summit in India on Sept. 7, reports NPR.
The Biden administration has warned of a possible increase in COVID-19 cases since May, when the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ended.
“The Administration has taken significant steps to ensure all individuals have continued access to lifesaving protections such as vaccines, treatments and tests, and that the nation is well prepared to manage the risks of COVID-19 going forward,” the White House said in a statement. “Our efforts have not been limited to the United States alone. The U.S. government (USG) has been the largest single donor of vaccines, having shared nearly 700 million doses with 117 countries as of March 2023.”
“Thanks to strategic investments in the continued procurement of tests and the strategic national stockpile (SNS), over 600 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests are available to meet demand in the event of future surges,” added the Biden administration.”
Health authorities across the country began warning about a late-summer surge caused by a mutated strand of COVID-19, known as BA.2.86. According to CBS News, approximately 24 cases of the new variant have been detected around the world – in Denmark, Sweden, South Africa, Portugal, Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada and the US.