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It may seem strange that some think President Joe Biden has cancer and COVID-19, but only one of those is true, according to officials in Washington.

The White House announced Thursday that the president tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing "very mild symptoms." The announcement came a day after Biden quickly mentioned that he has cancer while at a former coal-fired power plant in Massachusetts. Some people thought he was in a battle for his life; others thought he misspoke.

Biden was talking about his childhood in Delaware and about how he lived near oil refineries. The appearance was part of his crusade to “combat climate change.” He said, “And guess what? The first frost, you knew what was happening. You had to put on your windshield wipers to get, literally, the oil slick off the window. That’s why I and so damn many other people I grew up [with] have cancer and why can — for the longest time, Delaware had the highest cancer rate in the nation.”

In response, a White House spokesperson confirmed reports that Biden was referring to previously disclosed skin cancer that was removed before he became president — not announcing a new diagnosis. The White House did not explain how living near oil refineries caused skin cancer for the president.

However, a new diagnosis did come the next day … COVID-19. Biden was supposed to propose increased funding for law enforcement Thursday but had to put off the announcement due to his illness.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the White House also canceled Biden’s scheduled Philadelphia trip for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Thursday night and plans for him to spend the weekend at his home in Delaware.

Biden, 79, is more than fully vaccinated, after getting two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, a first booster shot in September and an additional dose in March.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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