US: Biden tests negative after second bout of Covid-19

The 79-year-old US president has been in quarantine for one week, after testing positive for the virus

US President Joe Biden. — AP file
US President Joe Biden. — AP file

By Agencies

Published: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 9:33 PM

Last updated: Sat 6 Aug 2022, 9:37 PM

US President Joe Biden on Saturday tested negative for Covid-19, days after coming down with a second bout of the illness.

“The president continues to feel very well,” Biden’s physician Kevin O’Connor said in a statement. “This morning, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing was negative.”

Biden, 79, emerged from isolation on July 27 after testing positive for Covid-19 for the first time on July 21. He tested positive again on July 30 in what O’Connor described as a “rebound” case seen in a small percentage of people who take the antiviral drug Paxlovid.

O’Connor said Biden will continue to isolate pending a second negative test “in an abundance of caution”.

According to Biden’s official schedule, he is set to travel to the southern state of Kentucky, the scene of devastating floods, on Monday.

Biden was “doing great,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Saturday when asked about his health during her appearance in Las Vegas at a joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She said that when she speaks to the president, he tells her to “tell folks I’ve been working eight-plus hours a day.”

During his first go-around with the virus, Biden’s primary symptoms were a runny nose, fatigue and a loose cough, his doctor said at the time. During his rebound case, O’Connor said only Biden’s cough returned and had “almost completely resolved” by Friday.

Regulators are still studying the prevalence and virulence of rebound cases, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May warned doctors that it has been reported to occur within two days to eight days after initially testing negative for the virus.

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

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