First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19.
The White House announced Tuesday that Jill Biden, 71, tested positive after testing negative Monday. According to the statement, the first lady “began to develop cold-like symptoms late in the evening.”
Biden’s positive test comes nine days after her husband President Joe Biden ended his isolation following a re-infection of COVID-19 after recovering from a rebound case.
The first lady tested initially tested negative on a rapid test but tested positive on a PCR test, according to the White House.
“The First Lady is double-vaccinated, twice boosted, and only experiencing mild symptoms. She has been prescribed a course of Paxlovid and, following CDC guidance, will isolate from others for at least five days,” Elizabeth Alexander, the first lady’s communication director, said in a statement.
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The president, 79, on Aug. 7 finished his isolation in the White House, which began July 30 after he tested positive in what his physician Kevin O’Connor called a “rebound case.” Patients treated with the antiviral medication Paxlovid sometimes experience a rebound case of COVID-19.
President Biden first tested positive for COVID-19 July 21. He briefly ended his isolation after testing negative July 27 but did not leave the White House. He went back into isolation three days later after testing positive again.
President Biden tests positive: president reinfected with ‘rebound’ case
First lady Biden is currently in a “private residence” in South Carolina while on family vacation with the president. The White House statement added that the close contacts of the first lady have been notified and she will “return home after she receives two consecutive negative COVID tests.”
The first lady has been busy in recent weeks traveling to support the administration’s agenda and some of her own FLOTUS initiatives, including those focused on education and helping military families.
She has been seen multiple times in public and in large groups, indoors and outdoors, with and without a mask, since July 12, when she, the president and Vice President Kamala Harris hosted the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. It was the first time the annual event was held since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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On July 21, when the president tested positive, the first lady was in Detroit, on the second day of a three-state trip to visit summer learning programs in Connecticut, Michigan and Georgia. She had already been in New Haven, Connecticut, the day before, and stopped in Atlanta later that day.
Before entering a Detroit public school with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, a masked Biden spoke to reporters, saying her husband was doing well and that she herself had tested negative that morning.
During the height of the pandemic in 2021, Jill Biden was a prominent public voice for wearing masks and other COVID precautions.
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Both Bidens are old enough to have an elevated risk from COVID-19, and the president also has asthma. But White House doctors say the risks are ameliorated because they’re fully vaccinated.
The president is not the first commander-in-chief to test positive for COVID-19: His predecessor, former President Donald Trump, tested positive in October 2020, and was hospitalized for three nights at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.
And Jill Biden is not the first FLOTUS to test positive: Melania Trump also got COVID-19 at the same time as her husband. Later in October, she canceled her first campaign rally in months, citing a “lingering cough” from her diagnosis.
“I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after,” she said in an essay about her experience posted on the White House website. “I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time.”