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Biden tests negative again for COVID after the first lady tests positive

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Maine One at the White House in Washington, September 2, en route to Florida.
Carolyn Kaster
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Maine One at the White House in Washington, September 2, en route to Florida.

Updated September 5, 2023 at 3:57 PM ET

President Biden tested negative again today for COVID-19, the White House said, the day after first lady Jill Biden tested positive.

The first lady tested positive on Monday evening after experiencing what her spokesperson said were mild symptoms.

The president is not experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Tuesday. But since he had spent time with Jill Biden before she tested positive, the president will wear a mask while indoors and around people, Jean-Pierre said, taking steps she described as "in alignment with CDC guidance." The president — who is slated to travel to India on Thursday for the G20 — will be tested regularly this week.

Jean-Pierre said the president will remove the mask when he is "sufficiently distanced" or outdoors.

At a Medal of Honor ceremony on Monday afternoon, Biden wore a mask as he walked through the crowd in the East Room. He took it off when he began to speak from the lectern, and kept it off for the duration of the event, even when standing close to the Medal of Honor recipient. Biden did not put the mask back on as he walked through the crowd again.

This is the second time that Jill Biden has had COVID

Last August, the first lady came down with the virus while vacationing with the president and their family on Kiawah Island, S.C. After a course of Paxlovid treatment she then tested positive.

The president last tested positive for COVID in July 2022.

The Bidens spent time together this weekend, first traveling to Live Oak, Fla., to view hurricane recovery efforts, then to their vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The first lady is staying at Rehoboth Beach this week, the White House said.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 4, 2023 at 11:00 PM CDT
Because of incorrect information from AP, a previous photo caption misspelled Marine One as Maine One.
Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.