White House Identifies 6 Close Contacts Associated With Biden’s 'COVID Rebound' Case

White House Identifies 6 Close Contacts Associated With Biden’s 'COVID Rebound' Case
President Joe Biden waves, as G-7 leaders meet with outreach guests for the working session at the Bavarian resort of Schloss Elmau castle, near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on June 27, 2022. (Lukas Barth/Reuters)
Jack Phillips

The White House on Monday afternoon said that President Joe Biden had close contact with several individuals as he continues to test positive for COVID-19.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed to reporters that six close contacts were reported. She did not identify those people, while adding that Biden has a lingering cough but is not experiencing fatigue, aches, or fever.

“He’s feeling fine,” Jean-Pierre said, adding, “Many of us have had COVID, and they tend to be lingering symptoms, and that’s what I’m talking about."

After the diagnosis, Biden has been "working eight-plus hours a day,” the press secretary continued. “That is a schedule he continues to keep. Instead of doing it in the Oval Office, he’s doing it in the residence.”

Biden tested positive for the virus again on Saturday after several days of negative tests. His doctor, White House physician Kevin O'Connor said that the second positive test was due to him taking the Pfizer-made drug Paxlovid.

The president will continue to be under strict isolation for now, O’Connor said in a Monday morning memo. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Biden has to quarantine for at least five days after testing positive for the virus.

“Given his rebound positivity, which we reported Saturday, we continued daily monitoring,” he said. “This morning, as could be anticipated, his SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing remained positive.” SARS-CoV-2 is another name for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that causes COVID-19.

About a week ago, the president briefly emerged from quarantine following a negative test, delivering remarks at a White House Rose Garden event.

With the positive test, it means that Biden won't attend a scheduled event in Saginaw County, Michigan, the White House said in a pool report. It's not clear if his trip will be rescheduled.

Like Biden, White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in June that he tested positive for COVID-19 as he was taking Paxlovid. Fauci said he tested negative for the virus for four straight days before he got a positive test.

Federal health officials have sent an alert to health providers and doctors about Paxlovid-associated "COVID rebound," or when a patient again tests positive or experiences COVID-19 symptoms after testing negative for the virus. With Biden's rebound case, some scientists have speculated whether clinical data and studies around the phenomenon are accurate.

Before the rebound, Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on July 17. He received two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021, his first booster shot in September, and his second booster dose in March 2022.