Vaccinated and boosted president suffered ‘rebound’ infection, doctor says
US President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday morning, after apparently recovering from the virus and testing negative on Tuesday. Biden’s doctor acknowledged that he likely suffered a so-called “bounce” infection, which can affect patients taking Pfizer’s antiviral pill.
Biden’s positive test was announced by White House physician Kevin O’Connor, in a letter to press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. In the letter, O’Connor noted that Biden had tested negative for the disease every day since Tuesday, but would return to self-isolation after Saturday morning’s positive result.
Prior to Tuesday’s negative test, Biden had worked in isolation at the White House for five days while suffering mild symptoms.
Biden, who was vaccinated twice and received two booster doses, also took Pfizer’s Paxlovid, an antiviral drug with emergency Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in December.
O’Connor noted that “a small percentage of” patients treating Covid-19 with Paxlovid are likely to suffer from what is known as “bouncing covid positivity” – where they appear to recover from illness before falling ill again. In the case of Biden, the president has “has had no recurrence of symptoms and continues to feel reasonably well,” O’Connor wrote.
The White House coronavirus czar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, also suffered such a reinfection when he treated his Covid-19 case with Paxlovid in May.
Following his negative test earlier this week, Biden described Paxlovid as a “game changer” in the fight against Covid-19, and urged Americans to get the pills from pharmacies nationwide.