Joe Biden tests negative for Covid after week-long rebound case

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Joe Biden is once again testing negative for Covid, according to the White House physician.

“The president continues to feel very well,” Dr Kevin O’Connor said in a memo on Saturday.

Mr Biden was put back into isolation this week after testing positive for a rebound case of Covid last Saturday, following his initial diagnosis of coronavirus in July.

The White House says it will continue to isolate the president “in an abundance of caution” until he registers a second negative test.

The president’s last positive test was Friday.

“His cough has almost completely resolved. His temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal. His lungs remain clear,” Dr O’Connor said at the time.

The president will be eager to exit isolation, with key issues like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial Taiwan trip and the final negotiations around the Democratic budget bill, which have been moving rapidly while the president was in Covid lockdown.

Mr Biden’s Covid boomerang was the latest high-profile “rebound” case among those who took Paxlovid, an antiviral medicine from Pfizer, White House medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci had a similar experienced in June.

The FDA approved Paxlovid for emergency use in December. Initial studies suggest between one and 6 per cent of people experience “rebound”-like symptoms towards the end of their original course of Covid, between days 10 and 14 since initially testing positive Covid. They are not considered new coronavirus infections.

According to the CDC, rebound symptoms tend to be milder, and are unlikely to lead to hospitalisation. The agency says there’s no evidence that more Paxlovid is needed to resolve rebound cases, and notes “a brief return of symptoms may be part of the natural history of” of Covid.

Officials argue that the antiviral drug is still working well, despite the occasional rebound case.

“Paxlovid is working really well at preventing serious illness, rebound or no rebound, and that’s why he was offered it, and that’s why the president took it,” White House Covid-19 response coordinator Dr Ashish Jha said in July, when Mr Biden was first diagnosed with coronavirus.

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