Former US President Barack Obama.
Former President Barack Obama announced that he has Covid-19 on Sunday, writing in a tweet that he was experiencing mild symptoms.
His wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, tested negative according to her husband’s announcement.
“I just tested positive for COVID. I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise. Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative,” he wrote.
The former president continued: “It’s a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down.”
Mr Obama’s diagnosis comes as many municipalities across the country are relaxing restrictions on everything from mask-wearing to vaccination checks.
The former president is also the first living US president to test positive for the disease since ex-President Donald Trump and his wife contracted the virus at a White House superspreader event during the height of the 2020 election.
That event paved the way for Mr Trump’s defeat in the following weeks, as his management of the Covid-19 outbreak was a key issue on which he trailed Mr Biden in terms of Americans’ confidence in their leadership abilities.
The Biden White House, by comparison to the Trump White House, has been far more strict in implementing and enforcing Covid protocols and as a result Mr Biden and other West Wing officials are often seen wearing masks even as the greater District of Columbia has relaxed such restrictions for many areas.
Mr Obama is 60 years old and likely does not fall into many (if any) high-risk categories for severe Covid symptoms. Breakthrough infections like the former president’s have, however, according to the Center for Disease Control a very small number of Americans have experience hospital-worthy symptoms or even died from contracting Covid after receiving at least one vaccination.
His former vice president and successor announced that he had received his booster shot in November, and encouraged other Americans to get one as well. According to Mr Obama’s tweet, he too has received a booster shot against the vaccine.
The announcement by the former president occurred shortly after the CEO of Pfizer announced in a series of TV interviews that a fourth vaccination against the virus would likely be necessary to drive down numbers of mild cases, while stating that the existing vaccination regimen was effectively preventing most hospitalizations and deaths among those who are eligible for the shots.
"Right now, the way that we have seen, it is necessary, a fourth booster right now. The protection that you are getting from the third, it is good enough, actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths," Albert Bourla told CBS’s Face the Nation.
Mr Bourla added: "It's not that good against infections, but doesn't last very long. But we are just submitting those data to the FDA and then we will see what the experts also will say outside Pfizer.”
The Social Security check that arrives each month. The unemployment benefits that help tide workers over between jobs. The security lines snaking through airports, back when millions of Americans were still flying.
“The science is clear. These vaccines will protect you and those you love from this dangerous and deadly disease,” said President Bush in one of the PSAs with Obama and Clinton, urging Americans to get vaccinated.
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