President Biden tested positive for Covid-19 late Saturday morning, the White House physician said, and he is not experiencing any symptoms at this time.
“The President has not experienced any reemergence of symptoms and is feeling quite well,” White House physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in a memo released Saturday. “This being the case, there is no reason to reinitiate treatment at this time, but we will obviously continue close observation.”
He is now expected to isolate for another five days, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Biden’s returning symptoms are an example of a rebound Covid-19 case, a phenomenon that has happened in some cases after people take Paxlovid.
Biden is isolating in the White House residence and will not be leaving Sunday, as planned, to his Delaware home to join the first lady. “He will not go to Delaware or to Michigan and he is isolating in the White House residence,” a White House official said.
The president was not masked at public events he attended at the end of the week, which is in conflict with CDC guidance that says people should wear a mask for 10 days after a Covid infection.
Biden tweeted about retesting positive on Saturday. “Folks, today I tested positive for COVID again. This happens with a small minority of folks. I’ve got no symptoms but I am going to isolate for the safety of everyone around me. I’m still at work, and will be back on the road soon,” he tweeted.
The president experienced mild symptoms in the upper floors of the White House after he tested positive for Covid-19 a week ago Thursday. He completed an initial five-day course of Paxlovid, an antiviral therapy from Pfizer, on Monday, and on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, the president tested negative for Covid-19 and ended isolation.
In late May, the CDC issued a health advisory about the recurrence of symptoms and noted that there have been no cases of severe disease as part of this rebound. The agency also said that there is currently no evidence that a second round of Paxlovid is necessary for these symptoms to resolve.
However, that hasn’t stopped some physicians from prescribing patients a second round of Paxlovid out of an abundance of caution. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, received two courses of the antiviral after experiencing a similar rebound of symptoms.