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White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor provided a crucial update on Joe Biden’s condition after the president tested positive for COVID-19 several times in recent weeks.
On Sunday, O’Connor said that Biden’s most recent test came back negative and that Biden “continues to feel very well,” according to multiple reports.
Biden’s negative test on Saturday came after he experienced what O’Connor termed a “rebound” infection after his initial diagnosis last month.
“Given his rebound positivity which we reported last Saturday, we have continued daily monitoring. This morning, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing was negative,” O’Connor noted in a letter provided by the White House, making reference to the virus by its scientific name.
“In an abundance of caution, the President will continue his strict isolation measures pending a second negative test as previously described,” O’Connor continued, according to US News and World Report.
The outlet continued:
Biden initially tested positive for the virus on July 21. Following two negative tests, he ended his isolation last week before testing positive again on Saturday. He then tested positive for seven days in a row.
The president underwent a five-day course of Paxlovid, which is estimated to lead to a rebound case in 5-8% of patients. A recent study found that COVID-19 rebound can also happen in people who did not take Paxlovid. The research, which hasn’t been peer reviewed, found that 27% of untreated study participants reported a rebound in COVID-19 symptoms within about a month of testing positive.
Biden has no weekend events on his schedule, but he and first lady Jill Biden are scheduled to travel to Kentucky on Monday following deadly floods in the area.
The White House announced that the president initially tested positive for the virus July 21.
“I talked to him just a few minutes ago. He’s doing fine, he’s feeling good,” the first lady told reporters at the time regarding her husband’s condition.
“This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said last month in making the initial announcement.
“He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time. He has been in contact with members of the White House staff by phone this morning, and will participate in his planned meetings at the White House this morning via phone and Zoom from the residence,” Jean-Pierre continued.
“Consistent with White House protocol for positive COVID cases, which goes above and beyond CDC guidance, he will continue to work in isolation until he tests negative,” the press secretary added. “Once he tests negative, he will return to in-person work.”
“Out of an abundance of transparency, the White House will provide a daily update on the President’s status as he continues to carry out the full duties of the office while in isolation,” she noted further.
Per standard protocol for any positive case at the White House, the White House Medical Unit informed all close contacts of the president, including any members of Congress and any members of the press who interacted with Biden during a trip he had recently taken.
Late last week, the president tested positive for the virus a third time, while the White House physician also noted that Biden had developed a cough as well.
In a memorandum, O’Connor wrote that Biden was “still experiencing an occasional cough, but less frequently than yesterday.”
“He remains fever-free and in good spirits. His temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal,” O’Connor wrote in his memo. “His lungs remain clear.”
He added that Biden will “continue to conduct the business of the American people from the Executive Residence.”
O’Connor also noted that Biden managed a “light workout” as well and that was continuing to quarantine and observe “strict isolation” in the White House.