Biden to stop isolating after testing negative twice for COVID-19
President Biden has twice tested negative for COVID-19 and will stop isolating on Wednesday, his physician Kevin O’Connor said in a new memo.
O’Connor wrote that Biden tested negative for the virus on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning on a rapid antigen test, after completing a five-day course of the antiviral treatment Paxlovid.
“His symptoms have been steadily improving, and are almost completely resolved,” O’Connor wrote. “Given these reassuring factors, the President will discontinue his strict isolation measures.”
The White House shortly thereafter announced that Biden would deliver remarks from the Rose Garden later Wednesday morning. A White House official said that Biden would talk about the progress his administration has made against the virus and encourage Americans to get vaccinated.
Biden, who the White House says first tested positive for the virus last Thursday, tweeted a picture of a negative Abbott antigen test and wrote: “Back to the Oval. Thanks to Doc for the good care, and to all of you for your support.”
O’Connor wrote that Biden plans to wear a face mask for 10 days “any time he is around others,” which comports with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for patients who stop isolating after five days.
Biden’s quick recovery is notable because his age puts him at risk for severe disease, but health experts were optimistic about the president’s case because he received his COVID-19 vaccinations and two booster doses. Biden continued to work remotely from the White House residence, convening virtual meetings with staff and outside stakeholders over the past several days.
The White House has used the president’s case to encourage Americans who have not yet gotten vaccinated or received their booster doses to do so immediately, as the country fights a surge in cases from the BA.5 variant.
According to O’Connor and other White House officials, Biden experienced mild symptoms like a cough, runny nose, fatigue, and sore throat. Biden’s temperature rose to 99.4 percent on Thursday but otherwise remained normal.
O’Connor wrote in Wednesday’s memo that Biden has stopped taking Tylenol for 36 hours and remains “fever-free.”
Still, the White House plans to closely monitor Biden for a potential rebound of symptoms, which has occurred in some COVID-19 patients who have taken Paxlovid, an antiviral pill.
O’Connor wrote that Biden would “increase his testing cadence” to protect those around him and monitor for a rebound of illness, but the physician did not specify how often the president would be tested or for how long.
Updated 10:50 p.m.
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