WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden received a negative coronavirus test result on Wednesday, days after he was exposed to a staffer who later test positive for the virus.
Biden came in close contact Friday with a “mid-level staffer” who later tested positive on Monday morning. The aide spent about 30 minutes near the president on Air Force One on the way from South Carolina to Philadelphia, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday.
The person, who is vaccinated and boosted, had tested negative for Covid ahead of travel on Air Force One and did not experience symptoms until Sunday, Psaki said.
Biden was wearing a mask the entire time he was around the staffer who later tested positive, sources told NBC.
The president is fully vaccinated and boosted.
Biden’s test results come as the omicron variant sweeps the nation, overtaking the delta variant as the dominant strain in U.S. Covid-19 cases.
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s top medical advisor, urged people to get vaccines and booster shots to fight off the new variant.
“It is the most transmissible virus of Covid that we had to deal with those far,” Fauci told a virtual U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation audience on Dec. 16.
“When you look at the pace of the infections now, things will get worse as we go into the depth of the winter,” he said. “And with omicron breathing down our back, things could get really bad, particularly for the unvaccinated.”
Though omicron is more contagious than previous variants, it is not yet clear whether it causes more mild or severe disease than past strains.
Fauci said that those who are vaccinated and have taken their booster shots “will be relatively well protected at least against severe disease.”
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.