Aug. 7, 2022 -- President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 for a second day in a row on Sunday, clearing him to leave isolation.
“This morning, the president’s SARS-CoV-2 antigen testing was negative for a second consecutive day,” Kevin O’Connor, the president’s physician, wrote in a memo.
“He will safely return to public engagement and presidential travel,” O’Connor wrote.
Biden tested negative on an antigen test on Saturday but decided to remain in isolation until a second negative test. After the results on Sunday morning, he left the White House on Marine One to travel to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
During departure, he told reporters he was “feeling good,” saying, “After 18 days, I’m clear!”
Biden hadn’t left the White House since initially testing positive for COVID-19 on July 21. After taking a five-day course of Paxlovid, the antiviral drug made by Pfizer, he tested negative for several days and then tested positive again last Saturday, indicating a rebound case. He went into isolation again.
During isolation, Biden participated in events virtually from the White House residence. On a few occasions, he delivered socially distanced remarks to a restricted group from the Blue Room balcony, announcing the strike that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri on Monday and singing two bills to crack down on COVID-19 relief fraud on Friday.
There are currently no events on Biden’s public schedule for the weekend, according to CNN. He and First Lady Jill Biden are expected to spend Sunday at Rehoboth Beach and are scheduled to travel on Monday to visit Kentucky after floods in the eastern part of the state killed dozens of people and destroyed the area.
During Biden’s initial course of COVID-19, he experienced mild symptoms, including a runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, fever and a cough, the White House previously reported. O’Connor prescribed the five-day course of Paxlovid for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in ages 12 and older who face higher risks for severe illness. During the rebound case, Biden experienced a cough, O’Connor indicated in previous memos.
Biden is fully vaccinated and has received two booster shots. He received his first two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before his inauguration in January 2021, followed by his first booster shot in September 2021 and his second booster shot in March.