Biden posted a photo from his official Twitter account shortly after noon after he was forced to cancel an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In the photo, Biden is seated at a desk in the West Wing without a mask. The photo was taken only hours after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Biden had contracted COVID, which would appear to mean Biden was flouting guidelines set down by his own CDC.
“Folks, I’m doing great. Thanks for your concern,” Biden said in the tweet. “Just called [Pennsylvania] Senator [Bob] Casey, Congressman [Matthew] Cartwright, and [Scranton] Mayor [Paige] Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today. Keeping busy!”
Folks, I’m doing great. Thanks for your concern. Just called Senator Casey, Congressman Cartwright, and Mayor Cognetti (and my Scranton cousins!) to send my regrets for missing our event today.
Keeping busy! pic.twitter.com/uf7AsOg571
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 21, 2022
As of March 30, CDC guidelines stipulate that individuals who contract COVID “[w]ear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask.”
Furthermore, the guidelines say that anyone who tests positive or shows symptoms of COVID needs to isolate for at least five days, regardless of that person’s vaccination status, and should wear a mask when around others for another five days. The guidelines also instruct COVID-positive individuals to wear a well-fitting mask when they need to be around others.
Despite the CDC guidelines, Biden took the photo in the West Wing in the presence of at least the photographer.
A White House official confirmed to Fox News White House reporter Jacqui Heinrich that the picture was taken Thursday, Heinrich tweeted.
Jean-Pierre answered for the photo later in the afternoon, saying that the photographer followed social distancing guidelines and that the president took off his mask for the purpose of the photo.
“@PressSec says the photographer wore an N95 mask and [was] at least six feet away,” Politico White House reporter Alex Thompson tweeted. “As for why Biden isn’t wearing a mask here, she said: ‘he took off his mask so that the American people could see him and see directly that work he is doing.’”
Biden tested positive for COVID Thursday morning.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has 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. He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence.”
“Consistent with White House protocol for positive COVID cases, which goes above and beyond CDC guidance, he will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative,” she added. “Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work.”
White House Physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in a memo to Jean-Pierre Thursday that Biden is experiencing mild symptoms, including a runny nose, fatigue, and a dry cough, which started Wednesday evening. O’Connor also prescribed the Paxlovid treatment. O’Connor noted that Biden would isolate in accordance with CDC guidelines.