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Joe Biden leaves White House for first time since getting Covid-19

The president tested negative on Saturday, clearing the way to emerge from isolation.

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Joe Biden

Joe Biden has left the White House for the first time since becoming infected with the coronavirus last month and headed to a reunion with first lady Jill Biden in their home state of Delaware.

The president tested negative on Saturday and Sunday, clearing the way to emerge from an isolation that lasted longer than expected because of a rebound case of the virus.

White House physician Kevin O’Connor had said in his last update that Mr Biden, “in an abundance of caution”, would continue his “strict isolation measures” pending a second negative test.

Joe Biden responds to reporters as he walks to board Marine One (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

“I’m feeling good,” Mr Biden said before boarding Marine One outside the White House.

The Bidens are expected to spend the day in Rehoboth Beach, a popular holiday destination.

The president originally tested positive on July 21, and began taking antiviral medication Paxlovid, which is intended to decrease the likelihood of serious illness from the virus.

According to his doctor, Mr Biden’s vital signs remained normal throughout his infection, but his symptoms included a runny nose, cough, sore throat and body aches.

Joe and Jill Biden
Joe and Jill Biden (Leon Neal/PA)

After isolating for several days, he tested negative on July 26 and July 27, when he gave a speech in the Rose Garden, telling Americans they could “live without fear” of the virus if they get booster jabs, test themselves for the virus if they become sick and seek out treatment.

But he caught a rare rebound case of Covid-19 on July 30, forcing him to isolate again. He occasionally gave speeches from a White House balcony, such as when he marked the killing of an al Qaida leader or a strong jobs report.

He continued to test positive until Saturday, when he received his first negative result.

While the president was isolating in the White House residence, the first lady remained in Delaware.

The Bidens are scheduled to visit Kentucky on Monday to view flood damage and meet families.

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