President Joe Biden has tested negative for Covid-19 but will remain in solitary confinement awaiting a second test, his doctor said in a letter on Saturday.
“The President continues to feel very well,” wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor. “Given his rebound positivity that we reported last Saturday, we have 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.
Biden has not left the White House for 17 days, after initially testing positive for Covid-19 on July 21. After taking a five-day course of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid, Biden tested positive for a rebound case of Covid-19 last Saturday and resumed self-isolation. There are currently no events on its public schedule for the weekend.
During the isolation, the president participated in public events virtually from the residence of the White House. He twice made socially distant remarks to a restricted swimming pool from the Blue Room balcony, announcing a successful strike that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on Monday and signing two bills cracking down on the Covid-19 relief fraud Friday.
The President and First Lady Jill Biden are due to travel to Kentucky on Monday after deadly flooding in the eastern part of the state killed dozens of people and devastated the area.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Individuals who experience a recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms or a new positive viral test after testing negative should restart isolation and self-isolate again for at least 5 days”.
During Biden’s first bout with the disease, he had mild symptoms including a runny nose, fatigue, a high temperature and a cough, according to his doctor. The five-day course of Paxlovid that the president completed requires a doctor’s prescription and is available through a US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for the treatment of mild Covid-19 at moderate in people 12 years and older who are at high risk of severe disease.
The CDC issued a health alert to doctors on May 24 informing them that symptoms of Covid-19 sometimes reappear, and this may be how the infection manifests in some people, whether they are vaccinated or treated with it. medicines such as Paxlovid. The CDC said most rebound cases involve mild illness and no cases of serious illness have been reported.
Biden is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. He received his first two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine before its inauguration in January 2021, his first booster in September and his second booster in March.
This story has been updated.