Jill to stay in Delaware as Joe Biden is treated for COVID

Jill to stay in Delaware as Joe Biden is treated for COVID

WASHINGTON — First lady Jill Biden will remain in Delaware at least through Tuesday as President Biden receives treatment for COVID-19, her office said Friday.

Jill Biden, 71, was traveling on Thursday and arrived at the couple’s Wilmington home late that night without returning to the White House after learning that her 79-year-old husband had tested positive that morning for the coronavirus.

The first lady tested negative Thursday and again on Friday and “remains symptom-free,” her spokesman Michael LaRosa said.

Jill Biden woke up in Michigan on Thursday and proceeded with a planned visit to a Detroit Public Schools facility before flying to Athens, Ga., to visit a University of Georgia summer school program.

LaRosa said that the first lady’s trip to Wilmington late Thursday was “her plan prior to” the president’s diagnosis and that there was “no change to her schedule”

Administration officials said Thursday that they would seek to maintain minimal staffing around Joe Biden in order to reduce the risk of transmission, potentially explaining Jill Biden’s decision to stay away.

Jill Biden
First lady Jill Biden will remain in Delaware at least until Tuesday as her husband receives treatment for COVID.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The president is expected to remain at the White House residence on the second floor of the executive mansion unless his condition worsens. Biden’s advanced age and asthma put him at higher risk from COVID-19, but he’s also quadruple-vaccinated, lowering his risk, and is on a five-day regimen of antiviral drug Paxlovid.

The president’s residential quarters are on the western part of the White House’s second floor, which has four unoccupied bedrooms — including the Lincoln Bedroom and the Queens’ Bedroom. Six additional bedrooms are located one floor higher.

A doctor’s office can be found on the ground floor of the building.

In a Friday morning note, Biden’s physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote that the president had a mild fever of 99.4°F on Thursday night, but added that “[h]is temperature has remained normal since then.”

President Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
The White House/AP

“His symptoms remain characterized as rhinorrhea (‘runny nose’) and fatigue, with an occasional non-productive, now ‘loose’ cough,” O’Connor wrote. “His voice is deeper this morning. His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal, on room air.”

O’Connor suspended Biden’s use of two heart medications Thursday after his positive COVID test.

The doctor wrote Friday that Biden is using low-dose aspirin as a temporary blood thinner after suspending his use of anticoagulant Eliquis, which is used to prevent strokes in people who have atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat.

Biden at desk
President Biden was seen working from his desk following the positive COVID-19 test.
The White House

“The President is tolerating treatment well. We will continue Paxlovid as planned,” O’Connor wrote. “His symptoms will be treated with oral hydration, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and the albuterol inhaler that he uses as needed. His apixaban (Eliquis) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) are being held during Paxlovid treatment and for several days after his last dose. During this time, it is reasonable to add low dose aspirin as an alternative type of blood thinner.”

In October 2020, then-President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized for three nights at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

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