President Biden tests positive for COVID-19 again in ‘rebound’ case

WASHINGTON– President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 again on Saturday, just over three days after receiving clearance to leave coronavirus isolation, the White House said, in a rare case of a “rebound” after being treated with one antiviral drug.

The White House doctor, Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a letter that Biden “has not experienced any recurrence of symptoms and remains feeling reasonably well.”

In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Biden will go back into isolation for at least five days. The agency says most rebound cases remain mild and that no serious illness has been reported during this period.

News of Biden’s positive test came just two hours after the White House announced a presidential visit to Michigan next Tuesday to highlight passage of a bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing. Biden was also scheduled to visit his home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sunday morning, where First Lady Jill Biden was staying while the president was positive. Both trips have been canceled as Biden has returned to isolation.

Biden, 79, was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid and tested negative for the virus on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was subsequently granted permission to leave isolation while wearing a mask indoors. His positive tests put him among the minority of those who were prescribed the drug to experience a rebound case of the virus.

While Biden tested negative, he returned to in-person events and meetings with White House staffers and wore a mask, per CDC guidelines. But the president removed his mask indoors while making remarks on Thursday and during a meeting with CEOs at the White House complex.

When asked why Biden appears to be violating CDC protocols, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “They were social distancing. They were far enough apart. So we made it safe for them to be together, to be on that stage.”

Regulators are still investigating the prevalence and virulence of rebound cases, but the CDC warned doctors in May that it reportedly occurs within two to eight days of first testing negative for the virus.

“Limited information currently available from case reports suggests that individuals treated with Paxlovid who experience a COVID-19 rebound had mild illness; there are no reports of serious illnesses,” the agency said at the time.

When Biden was first released from isolation on Wednesday, O’Connor said the president would “increase his testing cadence” to detect a potential relapse of the virus.

White House COVID-19 Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters Monday that “clinical data suggests that between 5 and 8 percent of people have experienced a rebound after Paxlovid treatment.”

Paxlovid has been shown to significantly reduce serious illness and death among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. US health officials have encouraged those who test positive to consult their doctor or pharmacist to see if they should be prescribed the treatment despite the risk of rebound.

Biden is fully vaccinated, having received two doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine just before taking office, an initial booster shot in September and an additional dose on March 30.

While patients who recovered from previous variants of COVID-19 tended to maintain high levels of immunity against future reinfections for 90 days, Jha said the BA.5 subvariant that infected Biden proved to be more “immune evasive.” have.

“We’ve seen many people get reinfected within 90 days,” he said, adding that officials don’t yet have data on how long those who recovered from the BA.5 strain took before being reinfected are protected.

The video above is from a previous story.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. President Biden tests positive for COVID-19 again in ‘rebound’ case

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