El presidente estadounidense ha comenzado un tratamiento con el antirretrovírico oral Paxlovid y permanecerá aislado, pero seguirá trabajando
El presidente de Estados Unidos, Joe Biden, dio positivo por covid-19 esta mañana y tiene síntomas “muy leves” de la enfermedad, según informó en un comunicado la portavoz de la Casa Blanca, Karine Jean Pierre.
Biden, que ha comenzado un tratamiento con el antirretrovírico oral Paxlovid permanecerá aislado en la Casa Blanca y seguirá trabajando.
El presidente “se aislará en la Casa Blanca y continuará cumpliendo con todos sus deberes plenamente durante ese tiempo. Ha estado en contacto con miembros del personal de la Casa Blanca por teléfono esta mañana y participará en sus reuniones planificadas en la Casa Blanca esta mañana por teléfono y Zoom desde la residencia”, dijo la portavoz.
Biden, de 79 años, está completamente vacunado, después de recibir dos dosis de la vacuna contra el coronavirus de Pfizer poco antes de asumir el cargo, una primera vacuna de refuerzo en septiembre y una dosis adicional el 30 de marzo.
Hasta este punto, la capacidad de Biden para evitar el virus parecía desafiar las probabilidades, incluso con los procedimientos de prueba establecidos para aquellos que se esperaba que estuvieran en contacto cercano con él. Oleadas anteriores del virus barrieron a la clase política de Washington e infectaron a la vicepresidenta Kamala Harris, a los miembros del gabinete, al personal de la Casa Blanca y a los legisladores. Biden ha intensificado cada vez más su agenda de viajes y ha reanudado la celebración de grandes eventos bajo techo donde no todos son evaluados.
Los principales funcionarios de la Casa Blanca en los últimos meses han sido realistas sobre la probabilidad de que el presidente contraiga COVID, una medida de cuán arraigado se ha vuelto el virus en la sociedad, y de su menor amenaza para aquellos que están al día con sus vacunas. y con acceso a tratamientos.
Cuando se administra dentro de los cinco días posteriores a la aparición de los síntomas, se ha demostrado que Paxlovid, producido por el fabricante de medicamentos Pfizer, produce una reducción del 90% en las hospitalizaciones y muertes entre los pacientes con mayor probabilidad de contraer una enfermedad grave.
En un discurso del 30 de abril ante más de 2600 asistentes a la cena de la Asociación de Corresponsales de la Casa Blanca, Biden reconoció los riesgos de asistir a grandes eventos, pero dijo que valía la pena asistir.
“Sé que hay dudas sobre si deberíamos reunirnos aquí esta noche debido a COVID”, dijo. “Bueno, estamos aquí para mostrarle al país que estamos superando esta pandemia”.
Biden está lejos de ser el primer líder mundial, y no el primer presidente de Estados Unidos, en contraer el coronavirus, que ha infectado al primer ministro británico Boris Johnson, al presidente francés Emmanuel Macron y a más de una docena de otros líderes y altos funcionarios a nivel mundial.
Cuando el predecesor de Biden, el presidente Donald Trump, contrajo la enfermedad en octubre de 2020, era un momento muy diferente. No había vacunas disponibles y las opciones de tratamiento eran limitadas y menos avanzadas. Después de ser diagnosticado con COVID-19 en la Casa Blanca, Trump recibió un tratamiento experimental con anticuerpos y esteroides después de que sus niveles de oxígeno en la sangre cayeron peligrosamente bajos. Fue hospitalizado en el Centro Médico Militar Nacional Walter Reed durante tres días.
Si bien gran parte del mundo ha reanudado los ritmos normales después de los primeros confinamientos para controlar los picos de casos y muertes, el virus sigue perturbando la vida diaria, ya que las personas se ven obligadas a cambiar de planes, aislarse y calcular los riesgos de participar en diversas actividades.
21 de Julio de 2022
Biden tests positive for Covid
The president is experiencing “very mild” symptoms and will isolate at the White House.
President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid, the White House said on Thursday, raising concerns about his immediate health and underscoring the pandemic’s persistent shadow over his presidency.
The White House said that Biden, who is fully vaccinated and doubly boosted, was experiencing “very mild” symptoms. He has also begun taking Paxlovid.
“Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
Biden took the PCR test as part of a routine screening program, Kevin C. O’Connor, the president’s physician, wrote in a letter.
The president began experiencing mild symptoms including a runny nose, fatigue and an occasional cough Wednesday evening, according to the doctor. O’Connor recommended that Biden begin Paxlovid treatment while he isolates.
“The President is fully vaccinated and twice-boosted, so I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most maximally protected patients do,” the physician wrote.
The announcement arrived just before Biden was scheduled to travel to Pennsylvania for an event to discuss gun violence as well as attend a Democratic fundraiser in the evening. It also comes just after Biden’s return from a trip to the Middle East and as the highly contagious BA.5 variant has raised concerns about another wave of infections across the globe.
Vice President Kamala Harris tested negative for Covid on Thursday morning, according to a White House official. She was last with Biden on Tuesday.
“She spoke to the President by phone this morning,” the official said. “The schedule will continue as planned. The Vice President will remain masked following the advice of the White House medical team.”
The first lady Jill Biden tested negative for Covid on Thursday morning, said White House spokesperson Michael LaRosa. But because she is a close contact, she will follow CDC guidance on masking and distancing and plans to keep to her scheduled visits Thursday to Michigan and Georgia.
“I’m on the road in Detroit today, but I spoke to Joe earlier and he’s feeling fine, just experiencing a few mild symptoms,” she said in a tweet that also confirmed her negative result.
Following the president’s diagnosis, politicians on social media from both sides of the aisle expressed their sympathies and wished Biden a quick recovery. Among those was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been critical of the Covid vaccine.
“Heidi & I are lifting up President Joe Biden in prayer right now. May God’s healing hand be upon him, may Covid pass quickly, and may he have a swift and full recovery,” Cruz wrote in a tweet.
Biden joins a growing list of public officials who have tested positive for Covid in recent months, including his chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, Vice President Kamala Harris, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The announcement of his infection comes as the White House is trying to manage crises on multiple fronts. It also occurs as the administration has sought to project a new phase in the pandemic fight, one in which the country would learn to largely live with and manage the virus.
Roughly 126,000 new infections are being reported every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up roughly 26 percent from one month ago, and the highest total since mid-February. These numbers are widely understood to be undercounted due to the proliferation and ease of at-home testing, for those who test at all.
Case counts are still below the peak of the Delta surge last summer and well below Omicron’s winter wave, when as many as 1 million Americans were contracting Covid every day.
The White House has continued to aggressively push for Americans to either get vaccinated or get their booster shots. And there had been early concern within the West Wing that, were the president to become infected, it would give fodder to vaccine skeptics and Covid-mandate critics, as West Wing Playbook reported in January.
The White House has also consistently battled outside concerns and commentary about Biden’s age and health. The president, 79, received a booster dose of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine in September and a follow-up booster in late March. Though he has suffered various recent health ailments, his physician declared him “fit for duty” after a physical this past fall.
Data published by the CDC shows that third doses are at least 90 percent effective at keeping Americans infected by the Omicron variant out of the hospital. The extra shots are even more important for adults 50 and older.
While the risk of the president developing severe disease is significantly reduced because of his vaccination status, the protection isn’t bulletproof. Older adults are still at higher risk of developing severe Covid.
The president’s access to top medical care also lowers his risk of a severe bout of Covid. Harris also received the oral antiviral Paxlovid after previously testing positive.
Biden’s infection is the second time a U.S. president has been personally hit with the virus. Then-President Donald Trump tested positive for Covid in fall of 2020 — before vaccines were available — after the White House hosted a suspected “superspreader event.” After more than 200 people, mainly maskless, attended the Sept. 26 event at the White House Rose Garden, where Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, nearly a dozen people later tested positive.
Trump, who repeatedly downplayed the virus and often resisted wearing a mask, was sicker with Covid than was publicly acknowledged at the time, The New York Times reported in February 2021. He was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as officials worried he would have to be put on a ventilator because of dangerously low oxygen levels and lung problems. He received drugs not widely available at the time, such as Regeneron’s antibody cocktail and the antiviral drug remdesivir, during his three-day stay in the hospital.
Trump reportedly tested positive for Covid three days before his first presidential debate in September 2020 with Biden, according to a new book by his former chief of staff Mark Meadows. Meadows said Trump received a negative test shortly after the positive test and resumed normal activities. Trump has called the story “fake news.”
By MYAH WARD
07/21/2022 10:30 AM EDT