President Joe Biden, who is double-vaccinated and double-boosted, seemed to recover quickly from a bout with COVID-19 after completing a course of the new antiviral drug Paxlovid, only to then suffer a so-called “rebound” infection and a return to isolation after testing positive for the virus again last Saturday.
The president continued to test positive on Friday, which marked seven consecutive days that Biden was compelled to remain isolated in the White House residence due to his COVID rebound, the New York Post reported.
It was also revealed this week by the White House that Biden will continue to remain in isolation until he tests negative for the virus two days in a row.
Seven consecutive positive tests in “rebound” infection
A letter Friday from White House Physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor stated that President Biden felt “very well,” that his persistent cough was “almost completely resolved,” and that his vital signs were “entirely normal” and his lungs were “clear.”
He did, however, continue to test positive for the virus and would remain in isolation and conduct his duties as president from the White House residence.
That letter from Dr. O’Connor marked seven days in a row that Biden had continued to test positive for COVID since the letter last Saturday that announced the president’s “rebound” infection, which has been attributed to the Paxlovid antiviral drug, that occurred after Biden had tested negative three days in a row following his initial bout with the virus.
Must test negative twice to clear isolation protocols
Given the president’s continued positivity for a virus that he is presumably maximally protected against — double-vaccinated, double-boosted, plus the antiviral drug — White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked during Thursday’s press briefing what the protocol was for when Biden would eventually be cleared to be released from isolation, specifically if he would have to test negative twice in a row as other White House staffers were compelled to do.
Jean-Pierre noted that it was “day five of the rebound” infection, which she characterized as a “continuation” of Biden’s initial infection and not a second “bout” with the virus, and that “he will remain isolated until he tests negative.”
“And so, he — we won’t see him again until, at least in person — you guys have seen him virtually, and he’s been working from the White House Residence these past couple of days — until he has — at least in person — until he has that negative test,” she said and added in reference to his initial release from isolation last week, “we did do two tests and make sure they were both negative.”
Reporters decry limited access; Biden tests negative Saturday
During Friday’s press briefing, the issue came up again in reference to travel plans this coming week that were announced by Jean-Pierre as well as a general complaint, purportedly shared by many in the press corps, about the exceptionally limited access to the president’s recent virtual events from isolation that even the select White House pool had received.
Jean-Pierre largely dodged the question by repeatedly insisting that the White House had been thoroughly “transparent” about Biden’s activities in isolation and that these were “unique circumstances.” She did, however, clarify that the announced travel plans were entirely contingent upon Biden testing negative twice in accordance with White House protocols.
For what it is worth, a letter Saturday from Dr. O’Connor revealed that President Biden felt “very well” and had tested negative for the virus but would “continue his strict isolation measures pending a second negative test as previously described.”