President Joe Biden tested negative for Covid on Saturday but will continue to self-isolate until testing negative a second time, his doctor said in a letter.
“The President continues to feel great,” 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 test 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 in a routine test and was treated with the antiviral Paxlovid. The president tested negative for days in a row before testing 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 would not return to treatment.
A small minority of people who take Paxlovid to treat Covid see a rebound case. About 1% to 2% of people taking Paxlovid in Pfizer’s clinical trial tested positive for coronavirus after testing negative. Rebound rates are around 5% among the tens of thousands of people who have taken the drug under real-world conditions, said White House Covid response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, who had Covid in June, also said he’s been through the Paxlovid rebound.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of possible recurrences in May and said people who test positive again could still be contagious and should resume isolation for at least five days.