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

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

“The president is still feeling really good,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician, a week after Biden, 79, tested positive in a “rebound” case of Covid. “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.

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Biden, who has been fully vaccinated and boosted twice, first tested positive for Covid during a routine test on July 21 and was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid. The president had tested negative for several 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 resume treatment.

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A small minority of people taking Paxlovid to treat Covid experience a rebound case. About 1% to 2% of people taking Paxlovid in Pfizer’s clinical trial tested positive for the coronavirus after testing negative. The rebound rates are around 5% among the tens of thousands of people who have used the drug in practice, said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid Response Coordinator.

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dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to Biden, who had Covid in June, said he also experienced Paxlovid rebound.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of possible recurrences in May, saying people who test positive again may still be contagious and must resume isolation for at least five days.

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