Joe Biden has finally tested negative for COVID, seven days after suffering a rebound infection from the virus – but says he’ll continue to isolate for now.
The president, 79, received a negative antigen test result Saturday, White House physician Dr. Kevin C. O’ Connor said in a letter published Saturday.
He won’t leave isolation until he receives a second negative test, likely from a ‘gold-standard’ PCR swab.
O’Connor wrote: ‘The president continues to feel very well. Given his rebound positivity which we reported last Saturday, we have continued daily monitoring.
‘This morning, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing was negative.
‘In an abundance of caution, the President will continue his strict isolation measures pending a second negative test as previously described.’
O’Connor gave no indication as to when the second test result will become available, but said he would keep White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre up-to-date with any further developments.
Biden’s negative COVID test was announced with this letter sent by his physician Dr Kevin C. O’Connor to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Saturday
Biden is pictured at a White House podium on August 5. He was COVID-positive at the time, and now appears to have finally beaten his virus rebound
Biden is pictured rubbing his face during a virtual meeting with business and labor leaders on July 25, four days after his initial COVID diagnosis
Biden first tested positive for COVID July 21. He took Paxlovid anti-viral treatment for the condition, and tested negative on July 27.
The president subsequently returned to work at the West Wing wearing a face mask.
But he suffered a rebound on July 30, with another positive test result.
The president spent a total of 13 days isolating in the White House – including seven during his most recent re-infection, before Saturday’s negative test.
He has continued to conduct official business and says his symptoms were mild.
Paxlovid – which is made by Pfizer – is feared to cause a COVID reinfection rate of up to 40 per cent among patients who take it.
Scientists say this is likely because it stops the body from forming its own natural response to a COVID infection, leaving a patient more vulnerable to a rapid re-infection after initially clearing the disease.
On Friday Dr. O’Connor said Biden ‘continues to feel well.’
‘His cough has almost completely resolved,’ O’Connor noted in an update of the president’s condition.
Biden has been appearing at events this week via zoom, including on Wednesday when he joined the first meeting of the interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, which is headed by Vice President Kamala Harris, and, on Thursday, when he held a virtual event with business and labor leaders.
He also delivered an evening speech from the White House residence to announce a U.S. strike had taken out Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
President Joe Biden tested positive again on Friday, as his rebound case of covid drags on and he faces seventh day in isolation
O’Connor shared this letter Friday, saying Biden’s latest COVID symptoms had almost disappeared
He has shown small signs he’s ready to get out of the second-floor residence of the White House, where he’s been living with his dog Commander as he recovers. First lady Jill Biden is in Delaware.
‘I wish I was with you in person, quite frankly,’ Biden said during a virtual meeting at the White House on Wednesday. ‘But I’m getting there.’
But the White House appears to have been planning for in-person events to return soon.
The White House announced on Friday Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Kentucky on Monday to see the storm damage.
Biden will sign the PACT Act of 2022 in the Rose Garden on Wednesday, the White House announced earlier this week.
The legislation, which expands healthcare for military veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, passed the Senate in an overwhelming 86 to 11 vote on Tuesday evening. The House has already passed it.
And he will sign the CHIPS legislation on Tuesday.