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.

United States 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.

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.