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First lady Jill Biden tests positive for Covid-19


First lady Dr Jill Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 and has mild symptoms, her spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“After testing negative for Covid-19 on Monday during her regular testing cadence, the First Lady began to develop cold-like symptoms late in the evening. She again tested negative on a rapid antigen test, but a PCR test came back positive,” said Elizabeth Alexander, its communications director.

The first lady, who is double-vaccinated and twice-boosted, takes Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral drug, according to Alexander, who told CNN that Biden received his second booster shot in April.

A person close to the first lady told CNN on Tuesday morning that Jill Biden was “feeling fine” and exhibiting “cold-like” symptoms. The first lady is 71, making her the oldest seated first lady in modern American history. She exercises several times a week and takes classes at local barre gyms.

This is the first time she has had Covid-19, according to Alexander.

The first lady is currently in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, with President Joe Biden, who is due to return to Washington for the signing of a bill later Tuesday.

“She is currently staying at a private residence in South Carolina and will return home after receiving two consecutive negative Covid tests,” Alexander added.

The president, who recently recovered from his own case of Covid-19, continues to test negative, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Twitter. She added that President Biden will follow US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on close contact and wear a mask for 10 days “indoors and around others.”

“We will also increase the cadence of the president’s tests and communicate these results,” added Jean-Pierre.

President Biden first tested positive for Covid-19 on July 21. He self-isolated while taking a Paxlovid course, eventually testing negative on July 27. However, on July 30, he tested positive for the virus again as he experienced a rebound case, which happens to some people who take Paxlovid. He entered solitary confinement and finally emerged from the White House on August 7 after testing negative for two consecutive days. He did not see the First Lady during this time.

The Bidens have been vacationing on the resort island near Charleston with their family — including their son Hunter, his wife Melissa and their son, Beau — since last Wednesday. They celebrated mass on nearby John’s Island on Saturday and cycled on the beach on Sunday. The first lady stopped by some local stores on her own on Sunday.

Jill Biden has been an active voice encouraging Covid-19 vaccinations since the president took office. She traveled to 40 states, many of which were for Covid-related events that included talks about vaccines, reopening plans and the importance of booster shots. She spent several days last summer criss-crossing the American South imploring Americans to get vaccinated.

“I want to emphasize that people don’t think they will be affected. They think it won’t happen to them, and then it happens – and then it’s too late. I don’t want them to take their health for granted,” she told CNN in an interview last July as she promoted vaccines in Savannah, Georgia.

This story has been updated with additional reports.


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