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Biden tests negative for coronavirus after rebound case

The president had been appearing remotely in videos while he was in isolation over the past week. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)
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President Biden tested negative for the coronavirus Saturday, his doctor said, after a mild but protracted rebound case.

The White House first reported that Biden had contracted the virus on July 21. He exited isolation last week when he had consecutive days of negative tests after completing a course of Paxlovid. Last weekend, however, the president tested positive again, as he experienced the “rebound” effect that occurs with many patients.

A full week later, he has now tested negative using an antigen test. The president’s physician, Kevin O’Connor, said Biden will remain in isolation until he receives a second negative test. O’Connor said Biden “continues to feel very well.”

What to know about rebound cases after Paxlovid treatments

When Biden emerged from covid-19 isolation on July 27, he gave a triumphant speech about the nation’s progress in the fight against the virus to White House staff in the Rose Garden.

“I got through it with no fear — a very mild discomfort because of these essentials, lifesaving tools,” he said. “The entire time I was in isolation, I was able to work and carry out the duties of the office and without any interruption. It’s a real statement on where we are in the fight against covid-19.”

Just a few days later, however, Biden’s physician announced that the president tested positive again, sending him back into isolation.

Throughout his bout with the coronavirus, the president has continued to work, mainly from inside the Treaty Room on the second floor of the White House.

In the two weeks since his first positive test, Biden has had one of the most successful legislative stints of his presidency: Congress passed the $280 billion Chips and Science Act; and Senate Democrats, after months of wrangling, agreed on a sweeping package called the Inflation Reduction Act to lower health-care costs, combat climate change and reduce the federal deficit.

The United States also carried out a successful strike in Afghanistan, killing Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda leader, and on Friday, the jobs report shattered expectations, as employers added 528,000 positions.

On Monday, Biden is expected to make his first scheduled public appearance since his rebound case, meeting in Kentucky with Gov. Andy Beshear (D) to visit families affected by devastating flash floods that have killed at least 37 people and displaced hundreds.

The president is also expected to hold two signing ceremonies next week at the White House for the Chips and Science Act and the Pact Act, which will expand health care to veterans exposed to burn pits.

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