Image source: ABC News
President Joe Biden recently tested positive for COVID-19 again despite consistently testing negative for days, according to his physician.
On Saturday morning, Dr. Kevin O’Connor released a letter that stated Biden tested positive in what he believes is “a rebound COVID-19 positivity” that the physician noted “is observed in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid.”
According to the White House, Biden has experienced “no reemergence of symptoms, and continues to feel quite well.”
As a result, Joe Biden will not resume treatment.
Since contracting COVID-19, Biden has taken consecutive tests to keep track of his recovery.
Dr. O’Connor said the President tested negative for four consecutive days, from Tuesday evening to Friday morning.
By Saturday morning, Biden tested positive.
“However, given his positive antigen test, he will reinstate strict isolation procedures,” Dr. O’Connor shared.
By Wednesday, Biden ceased isolation after testing negative on successive antigen tests – he celebrated his return in remarks from the White House Rose Garden.
Despite not experiencing any symptoms, Dr. O’Connor said Biden will isolate at the White House.
“Folks, today I tested positive for COVID again,” wrote Biden on Twitter.
“This happens with a small minority of folks. I’ve got no symptoms but I am going to isolate for the safety of everyone around me.”
“I’m still at work, and will be back on the road soon.”
President Joe Biden canceled his plans to travel home to Delaware on Sunday and Michigan on Tuesday, where he was expected to endorse the recently passed bill about boosting US semiconductor production.
The White House
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wrote that Biden, while asymptomatic, is “feeling fine, and working in isolation from the Residence to protect others.”
Another White House official said that contact tracing efforts were underway on Saturday after Biden tested positive.
Last week, the President resumed events at the White House after testing negative, but he continued wearing a mask regularly.
White House officials said they worked hard to ensure social distancing was upheld at the public events held at the White House.
First positive testing
President Joe Biden first tested positive on July 21, experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19, including a runny nose, fatigue, high temperature, and cough.
Biden, 79, completed a five-day course of Paxlovid, which requires a doctor’s subscription.
Paxlovid is also available via emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
It is used for people aged 12 and older with high risk of severe illness.
During the first positive testing, the White House shared he had 17 close contacts, but none of them tested positive themselves.
First lady Jill Biden has been in Delaware since the first test result. She hasn’t returned to the White House yet.
However, Jill Biden is scheduled to join him when he travels to Wilmington on Sunday.
On May 24, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert, advising doctors that symptoms could return, noting that it could just be how the infection plays out in some people – whether they’re vaccinated or treated with medications like Paxlovid.
The CDC stated that most rebound cases involve mild disease but that there have been no reports of serious illness.
President Joe Biden is fully vaccinated and received his booster shots in late 2021.
Infectious disease experts have been urging the government to study instances of rebound more systematically.
They pointed out that the phenomenon needs to be better characterized to understand who is more at risk and if the standard five-day course of treatment with the drug should be lengthened.
Studies also indicate that people can pass the infection to others during a rebound, which only strengthens their call to better understand it.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.