“The president continues to feel well, though he is experiencing a bit of a return of a loose cough,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor, Biden’s personal physician, wrote in a Tuesday letter (pdf) in confirming that the president again tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. “He remains fever-free and in good spirits.”
Elaborating, O’Connor wrote that Biden’s “temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal. His lungs are clear.”
“This morning, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing remained positive. The president will continue his strict isolation measures as previously described,” he said.
O’Connor said Biden “will continue his strict isolation measures” and “will continue to conduct the business of the American people from the Executive Residence.”
Biden first tested positive for COVID-19 on July 21 before testing negative for several days in a row. Over the past weekend, however, his doctor said he tested positive in what was described as a rebound case associated with Pfizer’s Paxlovid drug.
When he first tested positive, Biden’s symptoms at the time included a runny nose, cough, sore throat, a slight fever, and body aches, according to O’Connor. Because of Biden’s advanced age, 79, he is considered to be at risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday Biden has six close contacts, but none of them have tested positive. She noted that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not offered any quarantine guidance on individuals experiencing a rebound in COVID-19 positivity or symptoms.
According to the CDC’s guidelines, Biden is recommended to quarantine for five days after an initial positive COVID-19 test. The White House confirmed in pool reports that a planned trip to Saginaw County, Michigan, was scrapped, and it’s not clear when Biden will be able to leave quarantine.
On Monday night, Biden released a video showing him speaking from the White House to announce the United States killed al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in Afghanistan.
After the latest diagnosis, Biden has been “working eight-plus hours a day,” Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday. “That is a schedule he continues to keep. Instead of doing it in the Oval Office, he’s doing it in the residence.”
Similar to Biden, White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci announced in June that he tested positive for COVID-19 as he was taking Paxlovid. Fauci tested negative for the virus for four straight days before he got another positive test, he told a forum.
And like Fauci, Biden has received four COVID-19 vaccine doses, including two booster shots.