WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday but will continue to isolate at the White House until a second negative test, his doctor said.
Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote in his latest daily update that the president, “in an abundance of caution,” will abide by the “strict isolation measures” in place since his “rebound” infection was detected July 30, pending a follow-up negative result.
Biden (79) was diagnosed with the virus again just three days following his recovery from COVID-19. This incident occurred on July 21. Rare rebound cases have been reported in a minority of people who, like Biden were given the antiviral Paxlovid. This medication has been shown to lower the risk of severe illness and death among the highest-risk individuals.
O’Connor wrote that Biden “continues to feel very well.”
Biden’s travel has been on hold as he awaited a negative test. Biden plans to travel to Kentucky to inspect the destruction caused by severe flooding, and visit with his family.
Biden was “doing great,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Saturday when asked about his health during her appearance in Las Vegas at a joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She said that when she speaks to the president, he tells her to “tell folks I’ve been working eight-plus hours a day.”
During his first go-around with the virus, Biden’s primary symptoms were a runny nose, fatigue and a loose cough, his doctor said at the time. During his rebound case, O’Connor said only Biden’s cough returned and had “almost completely resolved” by Friday.
Although regulators are still examining the incidence and virulence rebound cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May advised doctors that they can occur as soon as two to eight days after initial testing positive for the virus.
“Limited information currently available from case reports suggests that persons treated with Paxlovid who experience COVID-19 rebound have had mild illness; there are no reports of severe disease,” the agency said at the time.
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