President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday after suffering a rebound infection but will continue to self-isolate until he receives a second negative result, the White House doctor said.
“Today, the President continues to feel very well,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a letter to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Given his rebound positivity which we reported last Saturday, we continued daily monitoring. This morning his SARS-CoV-2 antigen test was negative.”
“In great caution, the President will continue his strict isolation measures pending a second negative test as previously described,” O’Connor added.
Biden first tested positive for the virus on July 21, suffering from a mild fever, cough and sore throat among other mild symptoms. He isolated himself at the White House residence and completed a five-day course of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for people with mild to moderate symptoms who are considered to be at high risk for serious illness, before being released. tested negative.
After coming out of isolation, he praised the available COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
“We walked through COVID fearlessly — I walked through it fearlessly. Very slight discomfort because of these essential life-saving tools,” he said in a speech at Rose Garden. “And guess what? I want to remind everyone: they are free. They are practical. And they are safe, and they work.
But on July 30, he tested positive again in what O’Connor called an example of “rebound positivity” from Paxlovid treatment.
Although rare, some patients who take Paxlovid may test positive again after completing treatment, but doctors emphasize that this does not mean the drug is not effective. High-risk patients who take the antiviral treatment still have a significantly lower risk of being hospitalized due to the virus.
Biden said he was feeling fine and made several virtual appearances during his second infection, addressing the nation from the Blue Room balcony about the killing of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on Monday and touting a strong jobs report and motion on its agenda in the Senate on Friday.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to travel to Kentucky on Monday, the White House announced, in what would be her first trip since her diagnosis. If they travel, they will join Governor Andy Beshear and his wife Britainy Beshear at a meeting with families affected by the state’s devastating floods. At least 37 people died in the floods, which also severely damaged water and electricity systems.