Biden will travel to Kentucky in first trip since Corona viruss diagnosis

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 30: President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk on the south lawn of the White House on May 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Bidens spent the weekend in Delaware and traveled to Uvalde, Texas to mourn with victims of the deadly school shooting. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden is set to resume travel for the first time since he tested positive for Covid 15 days ago.

The White House announced Friday that the president will travel with first lady Jill Biden to Kentucky on Monday to join Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, and Kentucky first lady Britainy Beshear in meeting with families affected by recent floods that have devastated the eastern part of the state. The president and first lady will also “survey recovery efforts” at a local FEMA recovery center, the White House said.

The president will only travel if he tests negative for Covid, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters later Friday.

Biden declared a major disaster in Kentucky in late July and ordered federal aid for local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe flooding and storms. The disaster has left dozens of people dead and hundreds of people homeless in the state, with the governor describing it as “the most devastating flooding event our state has ever seen.”

The trip will be Biden’s first since he was diagnosed with Covid on July 21. Friday’s travel announcement came on the seventh consecutive day that Biden tested positive for Covid, a case that his doctor described as a “rebound” infection seen in some patients treated with the antiviral Paxlovid.

Biden completed the five-day Paxlovid course following his initial diagnosis and had tested negative in the days after finishing treatment. But the president soon began to test positive again and has remained in isolation since. The president’s physician, Kevin O’Connor, said Biden’s mild symptoms — such as an occasional cough — had mostly resolved as of Friday.

But because Biden tested positive again on Friday, he will “continue his strict isolation measures.” The White House hasn’t said whether the Kentucky trip will be canceled if Biden continues to test positive by Monday.

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