WASHINGTON — President Biden left isolation on Sunday morning after a weeklong rebound case of Covid-19, heading to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware for a short getaway before resuming official travel.
The president appeared in good spirits as he emerged from the White House in the early morning hours without a tie and headed to Marine One for the flight to the beach. “I’m feeling good,” he told reporters.
The White House said that Mr. Biden had tested negative for the coronavirus for a second consecutive day before leaving the White House. “He will safely return to public engagement and presidential travel,” Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor, the White House physician, said in a memo released by the White House.
Mr. Biden originally tested positive for the coronavirus on July 21 and experienced a sore throat, a runny nose, a cough, body aches and fatigue. After five days of isolation and a regimen of the antiviral treatment Paxlovid, he tested negative and returned to the Oval Office, only to test positive again several days later and go back into isolation. He tested negative again on Saturday, and Dr. O’Connor said the president would wait until a second negative result to emerge from isolation.
While he has tried to maintain a schedule of public appearances via video feed from the White House residence, Mr. Biden has been eager to return to the political fray in person at a time when he has scored some significant successes and wants to translate them into public support heading into the fall midterm campaigns.
The Senate was in session overnight as it moved toward passage of a long-delayed, slimmed-down version of Mr. Biden’s domestic legislation, which will be a major victory if it reaches his desk.
The president expressed confidence that the Senate would approve the measure, which includes the nation’s largest investment in climate change and energy initiatives as well as a plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs, expanded health care subsidies and a minimum tax on corporations that have otherwise paid little to nothing. “I think it’s going to pass,” Mr. Biden told reporters.
The president’s beach trip will not last long. Anticipating a second negative test result, the White House had already scheduled a trip for the president and the first lady to visit Kentucky on Monday to examine flood damage.
He is scheduled to hold Rose Garden ceremonies on Tuesday and Wednesday to sign legislation investing in the domestic semiconductor industry and expanding medical care for veterans exposed to toxic substances from burning trash pits on military bases.