Biden's trip to Saginaw County canceled after he tests positive for COVID-19

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

President Joe Biden's planned trip to Saginaw County on Tuesday to tout the passage of legislation aimed at boosting semiconductor manufacturing has been canceled after he again tested positive for COVID-19, the White House said Saturday.

Biden's positive result came just over three days after he had tested negative and was cleared to exit coronavirus isolation in a rare case of “rebound” following treatment with the anti-viral drug Paxlovid. He is asymptomatic, according to the White House.

Biden's physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a letter Saturday that Biden “has experienced no reemergence of symptoms, and continues to feel quite well.” O'Connor indicated that Biden would not restart treatment but would return to isolation.

"The President will isolate at the White House until he tests negative," the White House said in a statement via the press pool. "The President will not travel to Wilmington or Michigan as planned."

It's unclear whether the trip will be rescheduled. The White House had said Saturday morning that Biden planned to travel to Hemlock, Michigan. No other details were released at the time, but Hemlock is the home of Hemlock Semiconductor, a sprawling manufacturing complex near Saginaw that produces polysilicon used in microchips.

The Detroit News first reported Friday that Biden was expected to make a trip to the Saginaw area on Tuesday, coinciding with Michigan's primary election that day.

The White House said the president planned to give a speech about the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act "and its impact on American manufacturing, good-paying jobs, and economic and national security," according to a White House advisory.

Biden's travel to Michigan would have been his first this year, after five visits to the state during 2021. He was last in Michigan in November, when he visited General Motor Co.'s renovated Factory Zero electric vehicle plant in Detroit. 

The Saginaw area is represented by U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, whose seat is a top target of national Republicans this year after the redistricting process left him in a mid-Michigan territory with a larger percentage of Republican-leaning voters.

mburke@detroitnews.com