US President Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19 following several days of returning negative tests and will reinitiate strict isolation procedures, the president’s physician, Kevin O’Connor, informed in a letter on Saturday addressed to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Double vaccinated and double boosted, Biden tested positive for COVID last week and completed a five-day course of Paxlovid during his five-day isolation that stopped on Wednesday.
After testing negative multiple times beginning Tuesday evening, Biden tested positive again late Saturday morning.
O’Connor noted that President Biden increased his testing cadence due to the potential for so-called ‘rebound’ COVID positivity detected in a small percentage of patients treated with the Pfizer anti-viral medication Paxlovid.
The aim of the increased testing cadence, as he explained, was to assure early detection of any return of viral replication and to protect people around him.
Considering the fact that President Biden feels well and no COVID symptoms had reemerged, he will not restart treatment for Covid-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned of the possible recurrences in May although only a small minority of people who take Paxlovid see such a rebound effect.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and is President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, also went through Paxlovid rebound after he had COVID in June with symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, and fever.
The White House Covid response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha pointed out that rebound rates are around 5% among patients who’ve taken the drug in real-life settings while in Pfizer’s clinical trials, around 1% to 2% of people taking Paxlovid tested positive for the coronavirus after having tested negative.
As the Senate’s upper chamber prepares to vote on a reconciliation package – that includes health, taxes, and climate – a number of senators have also tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days so its passage before August recess could be at risk given all 50 Senate Democrats need to be present for that to happen.