WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden finally tested negative for the coronavirus Saturday, a week after his rebound case emerged, but the White House physician said the president would remain in isolation “in an abundance of caution” until a second negative test.
Biden has been staying away from the Oval Office since he tested positive again July 30, though he has tried to maintain a public presence through appearances by video from the White House residence. The recurrence of the virus has kept him off the road for political events and delayed summer vacation plans as well.
The president has experienced few symptoms during his rebound case, according to Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician, and he appeared in relatively good health in his video events over the last few days.
“The president continues to feel very well,” O’Connor said in a memo released to reporters Saturday.
O’Connor’s daily memos have provided no theories about where and how the president was infected. White House officials have said that those deemed to have been in close contact with Biden all tested negative.
The president was treated with Paxlovid early in his bout with COVID. While the drug, which is made by Pfizer, has been successful in suppressing the virus and preventing severe cases, a number of patients who have taken it have nonetheless tested positive again a few days after the last dose of the five-day regimen.
Biden has been described by aides as eager to get out of isolation and back on the road as the midterm congressional campaign begins to heat up. As a result of his infection, he has had to cancel a number of planned trips and has limited his contact with aides, advisers and others. Anticipating the end of Biden’s time in isolation, the White House has already scheduled ceremonies for Tuesday and Wednesday for the president to sign legislation.
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