US President Joe Biden tested negative for Covid-19 on Tuesday evening, his physician announced on Wednesday. Biden, who caught the virus despite having received a total of four vaccine doses, had suffered only mild symptoms.
The president tweeted a picture of a negative test on Wednesday morning, announcing that he would be going “back to the Oval [Office].” In a memo to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, physician Kevin O’Connor wrote that Biden’s symptoms had been “steadily improving, and are almost completely resolved.”
O’Connor added that Biden would continue to wear a mask for 10 days “any time he is around others.”
The US leader tested positive for Covid
-19 last Thursday, despite having been fully vaccinated and receiving two booster shots. He was treated with Pfizer
’s Paxlovid antiviral drug, and experienced a mild cough and body aches. The most noticeable symptom of Biden’s infection was a raspy voice, which could be heard during a remote meeting on Friday with his economic advisers.
Paxlovid was identified as causing a “rebound” infection in White House coronavirus
czar Dr. Anthony Fauci, who took the drug during his own bout with Covid
-19 in May. O’Connor acknowledged the risk of such a reinfection in Biden, writing on Wednesday that the president “will increase his testing cadence, both to protect people around him and to assure early detection of any return of viral replication.”
In a briefing to reporters on Wednesday, Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated and wear masks indoors to stave off infection. However, he added that “the reality is that… many of us are still going to get Covid
even if we take precautions.”