Joe Biden remains in “strict isolation” after testing positive for Covid again on Sunday in what is being described as a “rebound” infection following a Paxlovid antiviral treatment regimen.
Mr Biden’s physician, Dr Kevin C. O’Connor, said in a brief update on the president’s health that the second positive test was “unsurprising” given what is known about rebound cases.
The president “continues to feel well”, according to the letter, which did not give any updates about specific symptoms.
His rebound infection is a slight blow to the image of a quick recovery from Covid-19 that Mr Biden depicted this past week after isolating for several days following his first round of testing positive. Mr Biden sought to portray the swift end to his symptoms as a result of the Covid vaccine’s effectiveness, a depiction that largely remains true as the president’s symptoms never approached the seriousness of those suffered by his predecessor, Donald Trump, who was unvaccinated at the time of his own infection.
Mr Biden could remain in isolation for several days this week while Democrats on Capitol Hill seek to coalesce around a deal to revive his signature piece of legislation, the Build Back Better Act, in the form of the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act”. Absent the previous bill’s overhaul of the US social safety net, this legislation would still touch on some of the president’s priorities including lowering prescription drug prices and addressing climate change.
Amid the president’s battle with Covid this past week it was announced that his communications director Kate Bedingfield, who previously was set to depart the administration, would stay on for at least the foreseeable future.
“After much thought, discussion and reflection, I’ve decided to stay,” she told fellow staffers on Friday in an email, according to The New York Times.
“I’m not done here and there is so much more good work to do with all of you. I couldn’t be happier and more excited about this awesome — if admittedly last-minute! — development. The work is too important and too energizing and I have a lot of gas left in the tank.”
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