US President Joe Biden is back in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus for a second time in ten days, according to the latest update from Physician to the President Kevin O’Connor.
“After testing negative on Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, Thursday morning and Friday morning, the president tested positive late Saturday morning, by antigen testing,” Dr O’Connor said in a letter dated July 30th.
The doctor explained that this second positive testing in such a short time “in fact represented rebound positivity,” a phenomenon observed in a small percentage of patients treated with Paxlovid—the antiviral medication that President Biden has been treated with for SARS-CoV-2.
Approved by US health regulator FDA in December 2021, Paxlovid is Pfizer’s pill available to be prescribed by doctors for high-risk COVID-19 patients over the age of twelve when they first develop symptoms.
COVID-19 puts President Biden back in isolation
Since President Joe Biden, 79, “has experienced no reemergence of symptoms, and continues to feel quite well,” his doctor saw no reason to reinitiate treatment at this time but will obviously continue close observation.
However, the US President will reinitiate “strict isolation procedures” to avoid passing the virus to anyone in his proximity.
This second positive test came three days after Dr. O’Connor said the President had been found negative for COVID-19 and no longer needed to isolate. He had been in isolation since receiving his first positive result on July 21st.
At the time, President Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre had explained in a statement that he would isolate at the White House and continue to fully carry out all of his duties during that time, participating in his planned meetings at the White House via phone and Zoom from the residence.
White House protocol for positive COVID-19 cases goes above and beyond CDC guidance, she added, which means the President will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative.