Former President Barack Obama confirmed Sunday he tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise,” Obama said on his Twitter page. His wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, has tested negative for the virus.
The former president then called on people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, saying that he believes it helped him against more symptoms of the disease.
He provided no other details about the diagnosis.
Obama, 60, had recently returned to Washington, D.C., after spending most of the winter in Hawaii, according to reports.
“Michelle and I got vaccinated against COVID-19 because we know it’s the best way to beat this pandemic, protect one another, and get the country back up and running again,” Obama wrote in March 2021 on social media, accompanied by footage of himself and Michelle Obama getting the vaccine. “So I hope you’ll get the vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. It could save your life.”
Former President Donald Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October 2020. He left the hospital several days later. Other former living U.S. presidents, including Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, have not said whether they’ve contracted the virus since the pandemic started.
It comes as the U.S. national case total surpassed 79.4 million confirmed CCP virus cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.
Nationwide, cases, deaths, and hospitalizations have declined significantly in recent months.
But outside the United States, Chinese communist officials responded to a surge of COVID-19 cases by shutting down its southern business center of Shenzhen, a city of 17.5 million people, and restricted access to Shanghai by suspending bus service. Since the start of the pandemic, the CCP has favored a “zero COVID” response, including harsh lockdowns, mandatory testing, and shutting down entire cities to find and isolate every infected person.
Everyone in Shenzhen, a finance and technology center that sits next to Hong Kong, will undergo three rounds of testing after 60 new cases were reported Sunday, officials said. All businesses except those that supply food, fuel, and other necessities were ordered to close or work from home.
Also Sunday, some residents of Cangzhou, south of Beijing, were told to stay home after nine cases were reported there, according to a government notice. It wasn’t clear how many of its 7.3 million people were affected.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.