After taking a five-day course of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid when he first tested positive on July 21, Biden tested positive for a rebound case of Covid-19 on Saturday and continued to self-isolate. He hasn’t left the White House in 14 days.
“Given the positive recovery we reported on Saturday, we have continued daily monitoring. This morning, the SARS-CoV-2 antigen test remained positive. The President will continue his strict isolation measures,” O’Connor wrote in a memo to the White House press. secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, which was shared with reporters.
Thursday will mark the “fifth day” of his second isolation. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “People with a recurrence of Covid-19 symptoms or a new positive virus test after testing negative should restart isolation and self-isolate again for at least 5 days.”
On Tuesday, O’Connor said Biden, 79, had a “loose cough.” On Wednesday, the doctor advised that Biden “still has the occasional cough, but less often than yesterday.”
O’Connor said Biden “enjoyed” a “light workout” Wednesday morning and his temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation “remain absolutely normal.”
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert to doctors on May 24, advising that symptoms of Covid-19 sometimes recur and that this may be just how the infection presents itself in some people, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or treated with medicines such as Paxlovid. The CDC reported that most recoveries involve mild illness and that there have been no reports of severe illness.
Biden is fully vaccinated and received two booster shots. He received the first two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine before its launch in January 2021, his first booster in September and the second booster in March.