Biden tests positive for Covid again, will resume isolation despite no new symptoms


US President Joe Biden speaks to the media as he arrives at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, on July 20, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 again on Saturday after testing negative for the virus for consecutive days, his doctor said.

Biden, 79, is not experiencing any new symptoms and “continues to feel pretty good,” said Dr. Kevin O’Connor in a memo shared by the White House.

But he will nevertheless “restart strict isolation procedures,” the presidential doctor wrote.

Biden, who is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, tweeted Saturday afternoon that he was asymptomatic but would isolate “for the safety of everyone around me.”

“I’m still at work and will be back on the road soon,” the president said in a tweet.

O’Connor had previously warned of the potential for a “rebound” in positive test results, a phenomenon seen in a small percentage of patients who, like Biden, were taking the antiviral medication Paxlovid as part of their treatment.

Biden had accordingly “raised his testing cadence, both to protect those around him and to ensure early detection of a return of viral replication,” O’Connor wrote in the latest memo, made public Saturday afternoon.

The president tested negative for Covid on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but tested positive from an antigen test on Saturday morning. “This basically represents ‘rebound’ positivity,” the doctor wrote.

Biden’s age puts him at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over the age of 65 are responsible for more than 81% of deaths from the virus, which has killed more than 1 million people in the US alone.

The president first tested positive for Covid on July 21. He felt “mild symptoms,” including a dry cough, runny nose and fatigue, O’Connor said at the time. Biden began working in isolation, but returned to the Oval Office five days later after testing negative for Covid twice over a 24-hour period.

“The president has not experienced any renewed symptoms and is still feeling pretty well,” O’Connor wrote in Saturday’s memo after Biden’s rebound test. “If this is the case, there is no reason to restart treatment at this time, but we will obviously continue to monitor closely.”

However, given his positive antigen test, he will again initiate strict isolation procedures. As I stated earlier, the President continues to be very specifically conscientious of all members of the Executive Residence, the White House, the Secret Service and other personnel whose duties require any ( albeit socially distant) proximity to him,” O’Connor wrote.

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