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Biden experiences a Covid rebound after treatment with one course of Paxlovid

President Biden tested positive again for Covid-19 late Saturday morning, the White House physician said, and he is not experiencing any symptoms at this time.

“The President has not experienced any reemergence of symptoms and is feeling quite well,” White House physician Kevin O’Connor wrote in a memo released Saturday. “This being the case, there is no reason to reinitiate treatment at this time, but we will obviously continue close observation.”

Biden’s returning symptoms are an example of a rebound Covid-19 case, a phenomenon that has happened in some cases after people take Paxlovid.

Biden is isolating in the White House and has canceled his immediate travel plans. He had planned to meet up Sunday with the first lady in Delaware as well as take a trip early next week to promote passage of the chip funding bill. “He will not go to Delaware or to Michigan and he is isolating in the White House residence,” a White House official said.

The official said the White House was “in the process of contact tracing and once we have determined the number, we will release it.”

Biden tweeted about his condition on Saturday. “Folks, today I tested positive for COVID again. 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,” he tweeted.

Biden emerged from his initial isolation last Wednesday, after completing a five-day course of Paxlovid, an antiviral therapy from Pfizer, and testing negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday evening and again Wednesday morning.

The president was not masked at public events he attended at the end of the week, which is in conflict with CDC guidance that says people should wear a mask for 10 days after a Covid infection.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing that the president was still in compliance with CDC guidelines because he was more than six feet apart from other people.

When he initially tested positive for COVID, a week ago Thursday, the president experienced mild symptoms in the upper floors of the White House.

In late May, the CDC issued a health advisory about the recurrence of symptoms and noted that there have been no cases of severe disease as part of this rebound. The agency also said that there is currently no evidence that a second round of Paxlovid is necessary for these symptoms to resolve.

However, that hasn’t stopped some physicians from prescribing patients a second round of Paxlovid out of an abundance of caution. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, received two courses of the antiviral after experiencing a similar rebound of symptoms.

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