President Joe Biden ended his recent COVID-19 quarantine on Sunday, leaving the White House for the first time since contracting the coronavirus last month, heading to his home state of Delaware to reunite with first lady Jill Biden.
The president tested negative on Saturday, clearing the way out of a longer-than-expected quarantine as cases of the virus rebounded. White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a recent update that Biden was “very cautious” that he would continue his “strict quarantine measures” pending a second negative test. The White House on Sunday did not say whether the president had a second negative test and had not provided O’Connor’s new report since noon Saturday.
“I feel good,” Biden said before boarding Marine One outside the White House.
The Bidens are expected to spend the day at Rehoboth Beach, a popular resort.
Biden, who initially tested positive on July 21, started taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid, which is designed to reduce the likelihood of serious illness from the virus. Biden’s vitals remained normal during the infection, but his symptoms included a runny nose, cough, sore throat and body aches, according to his doctor.
After days of quarantine, Biden tested negative during speeches in the Rose Garden on July 26 and July 27, where he told Americans they could “live fearlessly” with the virus if they got a booster shot , if they become ill and seek treatment.
But Biden found a rare case of a COVID-19 rebound on July 30, forcing him to quarantine again. He occasionally speaks from the White House balcony, such as when he commemorates the killing of an al Qaeda leader or a strong jobs report.
He continued to test positive until Saturday when he received his first negative result. While the president quarantines at the White House residence, the first lady remains in Delaware.
The Bidens are scheduled to visit Kentucky on Monday to review flood damage and meet with family members.