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Biden tests negative for COVID, ends isolation

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Joe Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 after coming down with the coronavirus last week and is ending his isolation period at the White House, his physician said on Wednesday.

Biden remains fever-free and is no longer taking acetaminophen (Tylenol), Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a memo released by the White House. He tested negative on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Biden will speak to reporters in the White House Rose Garden at 11:30 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).

The president has had mild symptoms including cough, sore throat and body aches since his initial positive test last Thursday.

“His symptoms have been steadily improving, and are almost completely resolved,” O’Connor said.

Biden, who is 79, will wear a mask for 10 full days when he is around others, the physician said, mindful of potential exposure to Secret Service personnel and White House staff who are in close proximity to him.

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O’Connor said Biden would be tested regularly to watch for a potential “rebound” COVID-19 case of a sort experienced by some patients who have been treated with Paxlovid, the drug the president received.

The White House has been eager to show Biden at work during his convalescence. He held virtual events from the White House residence on multiple days and did video remarks on the first day he tested positive to reassure Americans that he was OK.

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