U.S. President Joe Biden said he was “feeling fine” after testing positive for COVID-19 again on Saturday (July 30).
In a video statement posted to Twitter, showing Biden standing on a White House balcony with his dog Commander by his side, the 79-year old leader said he had tested positive on Saturday morning.
“Tested positive (for COVID-19) this morning, going to be working from home for the next couple of days, and I’m feeling fine, everything’s good,” he said.
Biden, who emerged from COVID isolation on Wednesday (July 27) after initially testing positive on July 21, will now return to strict isolation and will cancel planned trips to his home in Wilmington and work trip in Michigan, the White House said. Biden held public events on Wednesday and Thursday, but none on Friday.
The forced isolation comes as the White House was hoping to celebrate some recent legislative victories to help boost Biden’s slumping poll ratings.
Biden had planned the Michigan trip to tout Thursday’s passage of legislation to boost the U.S. semiconductor chips industry.
Biden’s positive test is believed to be a “rebound” experienced by some COVID patients who take the anti-viral drug Paxlovid, according to White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor.
Paxlovid is an antiviral medication from Pfizer Inc PFE.N that is used to treat high-risk patients, such as older patients.
A small but significant percentage of people who take Paxlovid will suffer a relapse or a rebound that occurs days after the five-day treatment course has ended, studies have shown.
White House officials had previously suggested a rebound case of COVID was unlikely, based on reports of cases around the country. However, Biden continued to be tested and monitored.
A White House official said contact tracing efforts were underway on Saturday after Biden’s positive COVID-19 test.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci also experienced rebound COVID-19. His symptoms got worse when they returned after treatment, and his doctors prescribed another course of Paxlovid.
O’Connor said Biden tested negative for the last four days, and there is no plan to reinitiate treatment given his lack of symptoms.
Biden previously described his experience with COVID as mild, saying he was able to continue working while in isolation and attributed his relative ease with the disease to vaccines and other treatments.
O’Connor had previously said Biden would be tested regularly to watch for a potential “rebound” COVID-19 case, which can be experienced by some patients who have been treated with Paxlovid, the drug the president received.