Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19 again, returns to isolation

Joe Biden was also scheduled to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware Sunday morning, where First Lady Jill Biden stayed while the president was positive.

Joe Biden was also scheduled to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware Sunday morning, where First Lady Jill Biden stayed while the president was positive.

President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again on July 30, just over three days after being cleared to leave coronavirus isolation, the White House said, in a rare case of “rebound” after treatment with a coronavirus. antiviral drug.

White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a letter that Biden “has not experienced any new symptoms and is still feeling pretty well.”

In accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr. Biden will return to isolation for at least five full days. The agency says most rebound cases remain mild and no serious illness has been reported during that time.

The news of Mr Biden’s positive test — it had been negative Friday morning — came just two hours after the White House announced a presidential visit to Michigan next Tuesday to highlight the approval of a bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing. Biden was also scheduled to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware, Sunday morning, where First Lady Jill Biden stayed while the president was positive. Both trips have been canceled as Mr Biden has returned to isolation.

Also read | Joe Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has ‘mild symptoms’

Mr Biden, 79, was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid and tested negative for the virus on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was then allowed to leave the isolation while wearing a mask indoors. His positive tests put him in the minority of those prescribed the drug to experience a rebound case of the virus.

Both the Food and Drug Administration and Pfizer point out that 1% to 2% of people in Pfizer’s original study of Paxlovid saw their virus levels rise again after 10 days. The percentage was about the same among people taking the drug or the dummy pills, “so it’s unclear at this point whether this is related to drug treatment,” the FDA said.

While Mr. Biden tested negative, he returned to holding in-person indoor events and meetings with White House staff and wearing a mask, consistent with CDC guidelines. But the president took off his mask indoors when making comments on Thursday and when meeting with CEOs at the White House complex.

Also read | US President Joe Biden likely has a highly contagious strain of COVID-19, doctor says

Asked why Mr. Biden appeared to be violating CDC protocols, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said: “They were socially distanced. They were far enough apart. So we made it safe for them to be together, to be on that stage. to stand.”

Regulators are still studying the prevalence and virulence of rebound cases, but the CDC warned doctors in May that it was reported within two to eight days of the initial negative test for the virus.

“Limited information currently available from case reports suggests that individuals treated with Paxlovid who experienced COVID-19 rebound have had mild illness; there are no reports of serious illness,” the agency said at the time.

When Mr Biden was initially released from isolation on Wednesday, Dr. O’Connor that the president would “increase his test cadence” to accommodate a possible rebound from the virus.

Patients should be re-isolated for at least five days. According to CDC guidelines, they can end their re-isolation period after five full days if the fever has cleared for 24 hours [without the use of fever-reducing medication] and improve symptoms. The patient must wear a mask for a total of 10 days after the rebound symptoms begin.

Paxlovid has been proven to significantly reduce serious illness and death among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. US health officials have encouraged those who test positive to see their doctor or pharmacist to see if they should receive the treatment, despite the rebound risk.

Mr. Biden has been fully vaccinated, having received two doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine shortly before taking office, an initial booster in September and an additional dose on March 30.

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