President Joe Biden is positive again for coronavirus in what doctors call a “rebound case.” White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor explained there is always potential for this in a “small percentage of patients” treated with Paxlovid, as the president was.
Biden is fully vaccinated and has had the two recommended booster shots.
After the negative test result Tuesday evening, O’Connor said the testing cadence was elevated to both protect Biden and those around him. An antigen test returned positive for the president Saturday morning.
It followed several negative results since Tuesday evening, and the doctor said the new test showed “rebound positivity.”
O’Connor said the White House is reinstating “strict isolation procedures” to guard against “any return of viral replication.” It is also confirmed that contract tracing is being carried out in the wake of the president’s second positive test result.
Since testing negative for COVID-19 last Tuesday and again on Wednesday, Biden has been to several events unmasked. He also hosted a roundtable discussion on the economy Thursday.
That came as the government announced the nation’s economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter, a positive sign of a recession.
Biden, 79, will not immediately restart treatment as O’Connor said the commander in chief is doing well and not showing his previous symptoms. He was isolated for five days before his second negative result on Wednesday.
The president is isolated again but said he will continue working. In a Saturday afternoon tweet, Biden confirmed his second test result and acknowledged that it happens to “a small minority of folks.”
The president pledged to continue working and said he “will be back on the road soon.” His age, however, puts Biden at a particular risk for severe illness from COVID.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over one million Americans have died due to coronavirus infections. Of that total, over 81% of the deaths are from people over age 65.
Making a busy time for the administration potentially more difficult, several senators have also returned positive tests recently. Last week’s reconciliation package on climate change, healthcare reform, tax increases, and the deficit could be delayed with the congressional outbreak.