President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday, allowing him to leave isolation and resume his travel schedule. The president hasn’t left the White House in 18 days, since he initially tested positive for the virus.
“I’m feeling great,” Biden said before boarding Marine One. He arrived at his house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Sunday morning, making it the first time the president has seen First Lady Jill Biden since July 20.
“He will safety return to public engagement and presidential travel,” the president’s physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote in a letter on Sunday.
The president tested positive on July 21, and took the antiviral drug Paxlovid, which has been effective at preventing serious infection, but can also result in a rare “rebound” case that results in a new positive test and recurrence of symptoms “between 2 and 8 days after initial recovery,” the CDC warned. Biden experienced a rebound case. After his first bout of isolation, he tested negative on July 26 and 27, when he gave a speech at the Rose Garden encouraging Americans to continue to get boosted. On July 30, he tested positive again.
The 79-year-old president is fully vaccinated and has been boosted twice.
Although Biden has been isolating, he carried on with his presidential duties. Earlier this week, he delivered a speech announcing the killing of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri; on Friday, he touted the booming job growth in July from the Blue Room Balcony.
On Monday, Biden plans to travel to Kentucky to see the flood devastation and meet with local families.