When the White House announced Monday night that First Lady Jill Biden had tested positive for COVID-19, it was a reminder that as much as Americans want to put the pandemic completely behind them, the coronavirus continues to spread — and it’s doing so more aggressively now than it has been since. Months, With the new Omicron sub-variants becoming more prolific throughout the summer.
For most people, the virus is no longer as terrifying or deadly as it was three years ago, but it is still potent enough to make people sick for days and disrupt their plans.
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The White House is hiding
And in the summer of 2022, President Biden contracted COVID-19 for the first time. Because he was fully vaccinated and closely monitored by White House physicians, he experienced only mild symptoms and recovered quickly.
First Lady Jill Biden He also tested positive at that time – And he didn’t get seriously ill. Since then, the Bidens have generally lived as though the coronavirus has passed them by, traveling widely and hosting large indoor gatherings.
President Biden allowed the national coronavirus emergency to expire last spring, a move criticized by some public health professionals.
Now, the administration is determined to prove that a high-profile infection like the first lady’s is not a cause for concern. “We know we’ve made historic progress in this nation,” White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters, who peppered her with questions about the president’s status.
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Biden negative (so far)
Jean-Pierre said Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday and Tuesday evening. The president is expected to travel to India later this week for the G-20 summit, but it is clear that the coronavirus infection will disrupt those plans.
During the briefing on Tuesday, Jean-Pierre said that as a precaution, Biden will wear a mask for the first time in months — and will continue to get tested. “He will be wearing a mask while indoors and around people,” she said. Overall, it has sought to project a sense of stability, despite the potential for new infections in the White House.
“We know how to proceed,” Jean-Pierre told reporters. In essence, the White House believes that with masks, vaccines, and tests widely available, Americans can take as many precautions — or as few — as they want.
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Summer ends with a small wave
For the most part, Americans have sought to leave the pandemic in the past. By 2023, anonymity will become an increasingly rare practice. Vaccination and booster rates were constant. When the national public health and emergency ended last spring, it looked like the nation was finally over the coronavirus.
But recent weeks have seen a steady rise in hospitalizations nationwide, a trend that points to something of a mini-wave, driven by Omicron’s new Pyrola subtype, also known scientifically as BA.2.86.
However, the recent rally may be nothing more than the new normal post-pandemic, with the coronavirus still showing up periodically.
“This is what living with coronavirus would look like,” Mark Woolhouse, professor of epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, told Yahoo News.
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