Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19; President, testing negative, maintains schedule

By: - September 5, 2023 4:47 pm

U.S. first lady Jill Biden speaks at a media preview of the state dinner during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit, June 21, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — First Lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Monday night, the White House said in a statement.

Biden has mild symptoms and will spend the week at home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, the White House said.

President Joe Biden tested negative Monday night and Tuesday. He will continue to be tested “at a regular cadence this week and monitor for symptoms,” the White House said.

This “regular cadence” will be determined in consultation with President Biden’s physician, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a Tuesday press briefing.

President Biden has no symptoms and will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines, Jean-Pierre said.

President Biden did not modify his schedule or travel plans. He was scheduled to award the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Captain Larry L. Taylor for conspicuous gallantry on Tuesday afternoon. He is also scheduled to travel to New Delhi, India on Thursday to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

Jean-Pierre said Biden will be masking while indoors and around people, in alignment with CDC guidelines. The CDC does not recommend that someone with a close contact test every day, Jean-Pierre said, but Biden will be tested before traveling to India.

The CDC reported a rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide last month. Between Aug. 13 and Aug. 19, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by about 19% from the previous week, according to CDC data. Total weekly hospital admissions reached 15,000.

Between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26, the number of COVID-19 deaths increased by about 18% from the previous week, according to CDC data.

Where has the first lady been traveling?

President Biden and the first lady traveled to Florida on Saturday to meet with people impacted by Hurricane Idalia, as well as survey the damage.

The Bidens met with first responders, local officials and federal personnel in Live Oak, Florida.

On Aug. 31, Jill Biden visited Madison, Wisconsin, where she made stops to promote the Bidens’ Cancer Moonshot initiative, as well as attend a Back-To-School Educator Appreciation Event.

The Cancer Moonshot initiative strives “to prevent more than 4 million cancer deaths by 2047 and to improve the experience of people who are touched by cancer.”

Later that day, the first lady spoke at a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, President Biden and the state’s Democratic Party. Baldwin and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers were also at the event.

There were about 200 people in the audience, according to a White House pool report, but Jill Biden did not greet or take photos with supporters after her speech.

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Samantha Dietel
Samantha Dietel

Samantha Dietel is a reporter intern in Washington, D.C. She is pursuing a degree in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has previously covered the Missouri legislature in Jefferson City as a reporter for the Columbia Missourian.