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Biden ends White House isolation after negative Covid tests

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President Joe Biden traveled to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Sunday after ending White House isolation following two negative tests for Covid.

“This morning, the president’s SARS-CoV-2 antigen test was negative for the second consecutive day,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician, in a letter Sunday. “He will return safely to public engagement and presidential travel.”

Biden told reporters he felt great walking out of the White House to board Marine One to his home state, where First Lady Jill Biden stayed during the president’s Covid infection.

Biden, 79, fully vaccinated and boosted twice, tested positive for Covid for the first time on July 21 during a routine test and was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid. After several days of treatment and isolation, he tested negative. At the time, O’Connor said his symptoms had almost completely resolved themselves.

But the president tested positive again on July 30 in what O’Connor called a “rebound” case. Biden immediately returned to strict isolation measures, but did not resume treatment. He eventually tested negative on Saturday but remained in isolation until he got his second negative test on Sunday.

A small number of people taking Paxlovid to treat Covid are experiencing a rebound case. About 1% to 2% of those taking Paxlovid? Pfizer Clinical Trial tested positive for the coronavirus after testing negative. The rebound rate is around 5% among the tens of thousands of people who have used the drug in practice, said Dr. Ashish Jha, White House Covid Response Coordinator.

dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to Biden, who had Covid in June, also said he was going through a Paxlovid rebound.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of a possible recurrence in May, saying people who test positive again may still be contagious and will need to restart isolation for at least five days.

The president and first lady will travel to eastern Kentucky on Monday, where they will join Governor Andy Beshear to visit families affected by the devastation of the recent flooding, the White House said Friday.

Molly Roecker contributed.

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