President Joe Biden on Sunday was officially cleared to emerge from isolation after he tested negative for COVID-19 for the second day in a row, according to his physician.
“This morning, the president’s SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing was negative for a second consecutive day,” White House physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in a memo (pdf) Sunday, referring to COVID-19. “He will safely return to public engagement and presidential travel.”
The president returned a negative test for the first time in about a week on Saturday. He remained in quarantine until Sunday morning before he left for Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where he owns a home, according to pool reporters.
When departing the White House, Biden told reporters on Sunday morning that “I’m clear” and was “feeling good,” according to footage.
Biden hasn’t left the White House since July 21 when he first tested positive for the virus. As he was taking a five-day course of Paxlovid, he tested positive after several days’ worth of negative tests, sparking concerns and questions about how common so-called Paxlovid “rebound” cases are.
Biden’s vital signs stayed normal throughout his initial COVID-19 diagnosis and rebound infection. The 79-year-old’s symptoms included a cough, sore throat, aches, and a runny nose. At one point, according to his doctor, he suffered a mild fever.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s guidelines, “People with recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms or a new positive viral test after having tested negative should restart isolation and isolate again for at least 5 days.”
The president is scheduled to visit Kentucky on Monday to view recent flood damage and meet with locals.
The CDC issued an alert to doctors and health providers on May 24 saying that COVID-19 symptoms may come back in patients taking Paxlovid, a drug that was given an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration late last year.
“If you take Paxlovid, you might get symptoms again,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told CBS News in late May. “We haven’t yet seen anybody who has returned with symptoms needing to go to the hospital. So, generally, a milder course.”
White House officials, including COVID-19 czar Ashish Jha, have signaled that Paxlovid rebound cases are rare, and when they do occur, symptoms are generally mild. But in late July, several prominent scientists publicly questioned clinical trial data offered by Pfizer regarding instances of rebounds, with one suggesting that it could be as high as 40 percent. Pfizer said that between 1 percent and 2 percent of Paxlovid users experience a recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms and positivity.
From The Epoch Times