President Joe Biden, who is double vaccinated and double boosted, tested positive for COVID-19 nearly two weeks ago and was isolated in the White House for several days until he tested negative last week, only to then test positive once again and return to isolation over the weekend.
Now, according to an update Tuesday from White House Physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the president “continues to feel well” but also suffered from “return of a loose cough,” though he otherwise appeared to be symptom-free, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Reoccuring” and “lingering” symptoms
The White House on Tuesday published a letter from the White House physician in which Dr. O’Connor wrote, “The president continues to feel well, though he is experiencing a bit of a return of a loose cough. He remains fever-free and in good spirits.”
The doctor noted that all of Biden’s vital signs “remain entirely normal” and his lungs were “clear,” but given the president’s “rebound positivity,” he would continue to undergo “daily monitoring” and remain isolated so long as he continued to test positive for the virus.
The letter followed a bit of confusion during Monday’s press briefing with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who initially told reporters that Biden had “no reoccurring symptoms” only to then later in the briefing acknowledge that the president was suffering “lingering” side effects like a persistent cough or sniffles.
Interestingly enough, it was just last Wednesday that the White House had made a big deal about President Biden testing negative after several days of isolation in the White House residence, and Biden even delivered a speech outside in the Rose Garden to herald his rapid recovery after an apparently mild and swift infection.
However, that reprieve from COVID was short-lived for Biden, as a letter Saturday from Dr. O’Connor revealed that the president had tested positive again — a so-called “rebound” case ostensibly linked to the Paxlovid antiviral medication he was prescribed — but had “no reemergence of symptoms” and felt fine.
Daily updates from the White House physician since then have indicated that Biden has continued to test positive for the virus, including the most recent letter on Wednesday, which acknowledged that the president still endured an “occasional cough” but otherwise appeared normal and “well.”
Rebound may not be due to antiviral drug
As noted, President Biden’s COVID relapse had been attributed to the Paxlovid antiviral medication he took during his initial bout with the virus, as there has been some evidence put forward that suggests a linkage in some patients between that particular drug and what has been dubbed “rebound positivity” of COVID.
Yet, NBC News just reported this week on a new study that suggests there may not be a link between that drug and COVID relapses, as researchers found that roughly 27% of all COVID patients, regardless of any or no particular treatments received, seemed to experience a rebound infection.
Granted, that specific study has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and it is obvious that more research is needed with regard to not just Paxlovid but the COVID-19 virus more generally, to say nothing of the vaccines and potential unknown reactions or side effects.
In the meantime, despite deep disagreements on policy, we wish President Biden a speedy recovery from round two of COVID and pray that his condition remains largely symptom-free and does not worsen.