President Biden negative for COVID-19 after close contact

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President Joe Biden gives a thumbs up as he boards Air Force One at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in West Columbia, S.C., en route to Philadelphia after speaking at the South Carolina State University’s 2021 Fall Commencement Ceremony in Orangeburg, S.C., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has tested negative for COVID-19, the White House said Wednesday.

“This morning, President Biden received a PCR test and the test result was negative,” the White House press office said in a statement emailed to reporters, referring to a sensitive test used to detect the presence of coronavirus.

Biden had close contact on Air Force One last Friday with a staff member who later tested positive for the coronavirus and showed signs of COVID-19, the White House said.

That led to further testing for the 79-year-old president, who is regularly tested for the coronavirus.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden had had two negative tests since Sunday, and would be tested again on Wednesday.

That’s the test result came back negative.

Psaki said the staff member spent about 30 minutes around the president on the flight from Orangeburg, South Carolina, to Philadelphia, last Friday.

She said the staffer is fully vaccinated, had received a booster shot and had tested negative before boarding Air Force One.

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