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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Biden tests negative for Covid, will continue isolation, doctor says

President Joe Biden tested negative for Covid Saturday but will continue to isolate until he tests negative a second time, his doctor said in a letter.

“The President continues to feel very well,” White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote, a week after Biden, 79, tested positive again in a “rebound” case. “This morning, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing was negative.”

He will continue “his strict isolation measures pending a second negative test as previously described,” O’Connor added.

Biden, who is fully vaccinated and twice boosted, first tested positive for Covid on July 21 during a routine test and was treated with the antiviral Paxlovid. The president had tested negative several day in a row before he tested positive again last Saturday in what O’Connor described as a “rebound” case.

O’Connor said in a letter last week that Biden was doing well and he would not re-initiate treatment.

A small minority of people who take Paxlovid to treat Covid see a rebound case. Around 1% to 2% of people taking Paxlovid in Pfizer’s clinical trial tested positive for the coronavirus after having tested negative. Rebound rates are around 5% among the tens of thousands of people who’ve taken the drug in real-life settings, White House Covid response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, has said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to Biden, who had Covid in June, also said he went through Paxlovid rebound.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the possible recurrences in May, and said that people who test positive again may still be contagious and should restart isolation for at least five days.

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