President Biden tests positive for COVID again

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President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID on Saturday, his second positive test in two weeks.

The president’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said it was likely a “rebound” case, a phenomenon that has been seen in a small number of patients treated with Pfizer’s Paxlovid medication.

“The President has experienced no reemergence of symptoms and continues to feel quite well,” O’Connor wrote in a memo. “This being the case, there is no reason to reinitiate treatment at this time, but we will obviously continue close observation.”

Biden, 79, first tested positive July 21. After treatment with Paxlovid, he tested negative on the following Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to O’Connor. He returned to the public eye for a Wednesday morning speech at the Rose Garden.

Now that Biden has tested positive again, however, he will return to isolation, O’Connor said. The president’s second positive test came on an antigen test.

“Folks, today I tested positive for COVID again,” Biden tweeted Saturday. “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.”

The Paxlovid treatment cycle involves taking three pills twice per day for five days. When Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, got COVID in June, he also took Paxlovid and also experienced a rebound positive test.

Studies have found that between 1% and 5% of people who take Paxlovid experience rebound cases. Health experts have theorized that the treatment cycle may not be long enough to clear the virus from someone’s system.

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