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Biden tests negative for COVID-19 and touts administration's pandemic response

Joe Biden
Evan Vucci
President Joe Biden is ending his COVID-19 isolation after testing negative for the virus on Tuesday, July 26, and again on Wednesday, July 27.

President Joe Biden tweets "Back to the Oval." However, he will wear a “well-fitting” mask anytime he is around others for the next 10 days, his doctor says.

President Joe Biden is ending his COVID-19 isolation after testing negative for the virus on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday, according to a letter from his physician.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor writes that Biden has completed his course of treatment with the drug Paxlovid and remains free of fever.

O'Connor says that given those factors and the pair of negative tests, Biden will discontinue his “strict isolation” measures.

Biden will wear a “well-fitting” face mask for 10 days anytime he is around others, O’Connor said.

The 79-year-old Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on .July 21.

In public remarks in the Rose Garden not long after the negative testing, Biden emphasized that the more transmissible BA. 5 variant will mean people will continue getting sick but that there are now more protections against severe illness. He suggested mask wearing in crowded indoor places.

"Unfortunately this COVID is still with us, but our fight against COVID is making a huge difference," he said, arguing that even if cases are up, deaths are down 90% from when he took office.

The president urged Americans to get COVID vaccines and booster shots and promoted the White House's free at-home tests as well as the use of the drug Paxlovid.

"When my predecessor got COVID, he had to get helicoptered to Walter Reed Medical Center. He was severely ill — thankfully he recovered. When I got COVID I worked from upstairs in the White House," he said. "You don't need to be president to use these tools to use for your defense."