U.S. President Joe Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 again just days after the White House said he was cleared to come out of isolation in a rare “rebound” case after being treated with an antiviral drug.
White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote in a letter that Biden “has had no recurrence of symptoms and continues to feel quite well.” O’Connor said there was “no reason to restart treatment at this time.”
In accordance with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Biden will again go into isolation for at least five days. He will be isolated in the White House until he tests negative. The agency reports that most relapse cases remain mild and no severe forms of the disease have been reported during this period.
Just as when Biden first tested positive, the White House has been keen to show that he is still working. The President tweeted a masked, tie-less photo of himself signing a declaration to add personal assistance to flood victims in Kentucky.
The President then tweeted a 12-second video of himself on the White House balcony with his dog Commander.
“I feel good, everything is fine,” Biden said, holding aviator sunglasses in his hand. “But the Commander and I have some work to do.
Biden was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid
Rumors of Biden’s positive test — he was negative on Friday morning — come just two hours after the White House announced the president’s visit to Michigan this coming Tuesday to mark the passage of a domestic high-tech manufacturing bill. Biden was also due to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday morning, where First Lady Jill Biden was staying while the president was sure. Both trips were canceled as Biden returned to isolation.
Biden, 79, was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid after he tested positive for the first time on July 21. He tested negative for the virus last Tuesday and Wednesday. He was then allowed to come out of isolation by wearing a mask indoors. His positive tests put him in a minority of those who were prescribed the drug to experience the rebound of the virus.
White House Coordinator for COVID-19 Dr. Ashish Jha recently told reporters that data “suggests 5 to 8 percent of people recover” after being treated with Paxlovid.
“Recognizing the possibility of a so-called ‘rebound’ positive COVID result seen in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid, the president has increased the frequency of his tests to protect those around him and ensure early detection of any resumption of virus replication,” O. letter.
O’Connor cited Biden’s negative test results from Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, Thursday morning, and Friday morning to a positive antigen test on Saturday morning. “This actually represents a ‘rebound’ of positivity,” he wrote.
Paxlovid has been shown to significantly reduce disease severity and mortality among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. US health officials have urged those who test positive to consult with their doctors or pharmacists to see if they should be treated despite the risk of relapse.