In a separate statement, the president's physician, Kevin O'Connor, said the head of state, as part of his routine screening protocol, first tested positive after an antigen test, which then was confirmed by a PCR test.
The doctor provides this list of symptoms, which appeared on Wednesday evening: a "runny nose", "fatigue" and "an occasional dry cough".
- "All of its functions" -
The Democrat, who had never tested positive, "started taking Paxlovid", Pfizer's anti-Covid pill, and will isolate himself at the White House until he tests negative again, indicated Karine Jean-Pierre.
Joe Biden "is fully vaccinated and has received two booster doses, so I expect him to respond favorably" to this treatment, his doctor said.
The president "will continue to assume his full duties" while in isolation, the statement said.
“He was in contact with members of the White House team by telephone this morning, and he will participate in the meetings scheduled for this morning at the White House by telephone and Zoom” from his private apartments, said Karine Jean- Rock.
His wife Jill Biden said she had tested negative. "I spoke to him a few minutes ago. He's fine, he feels fine," she told reporters during a trip to Michigan.
- "Robust" -
Joe Biden, who was elected in part on the promise to deal with the deadly Covid-19 epidemic, has always highlighted his respect for the instructions for distancing and wearing a mask.
He also summoned the press to receive his vaccine doses, hoping to encourage his fellow citizens to imitate him.
"For the sake of greater transparency", the White House has promised to communicate "every day" on the state of health of Joe Biden, whom a medical examination last November found "robust" and "fit" to carry out his duties. .
The last negative test of the American head of state, who last week toured Israel and Saudi Arabia, dates back to Tuesday, said Karine Jean-Pierre.
The president, who wants to campaign before legislative elections in November, had initially planned a trip to Pennsylvania on Thursday and another to Florida next Monday.
The United States is currently registering around 130,000 new cases of Covid-19 per day, an underestimated figure according to experts, and the number of hospitalizations is also on the rise. The highly contagious BA.5 subvariant of Omicron is dominant in the country, where it accounts for about 80% of cases.
Paxlovid, which Joe Biden takes, is an antiviral treatment that works by reducing the ability of the virus to replicate, thus slowing the progression of the disease. It must be taken within the first few days after symptoms appear to be effective.
It is recommended in the United States for people at risk of developing a severe case of the disease, a category in which the American president falls due to his age.
Joe Biden's predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, announced on October 2, 2020 on Twitter that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
He had been evacuated by helicopter from the White House to the Walter Reed military hospital, and had been treated there for three nights, without the White House shed any light on the seriousness of his condition.