Biden leaves the White House for the first time since being diagnosed with COVID-19

Ending his latest COVID-19 isolation, President Joe Biden left the White House on Sunday for the first time since being infected with the coronavirus last month, settling in for a meeting with First Lady Jill Biden in their home state of Delaware.

The president tested negative on Saturday and Sunday, according to his doctor, paving the way for him to emerge from a longer-than-expected isolation due to a rebounding case of the virus. “He will safely return to public engagement and presidential travel,” wrote Dr Kevin O’Connor.

“I feel great,” Biden said before boarding Marine One outside the White House.

The Bidens were to spend the day at Rehoboth Beach, a popular vacation destination.

Biden initially tested positive on July 21, and he started taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid, which aims to reduce the risk of serious illness from the virus. According to his doctor, Biden’s vital signs remained normal throughout his infection, but his symptoms included a runny nose, cough, sore throat and body aches.

After self-isolating for several days, Biden tested negative on July 26 and 27, when he gave a speech at the Rose Garden, telling Americans they can “live without fear” of the virus if they receive reminders, testing themselves for the virus if they get sick and seeking treatments.

But Biden caught a rare rebound case of COVID-19 on July 30, forcing him into self-isolation again. He sometimes delivered speeches from a White House balcony, such as when he scored the killing of an al-Qaeda leader or a strong jobs report.

He continued to test positive until Saturday, when he received his first negative result. While the president isolated himself in the White House residence, the first lady stayed in Delaware.

The Bidens are scheduled to travel to Kentucky on Monday to view flood damage and meet with families.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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