- White House confirms first COVID-19 case in Biden administration.
- Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, reported through social media that she had tested positive for COVID-19.
- According to the government official, she has not had contact with the president since last Wednesday.
BREAKING: White House Confirms First COVID-19 Case in Joe Biden’s Administration. White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, announced that she had been infected, but that she was already taking all measures to prevent the spread of the virus and make a speedy recovery.
This Sunday, Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, reported through social media that she had tested positive for COVID-19, although she made clear that she only has mild symptoms. According to the government official, she has not had contact with the president since last Wednesday.
White House confirms first COVID-19 case in Biden administration
In an official statement, the press secretary explained that she had decided to cancel a trip to Rome that she had scheduled for this week with President Joe Biden, because a relative with whom she had recently had contact with tested positive for coronavirus.
“On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership of the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel on the foreign trip with the president due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for Covid-19,” she said in a statement.
“Today I tested positive for COVID”
Psaki, 42, added that since she learned she had contracted the virus, she took action on the matter. “Since then, I have quarantined myself and I tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” explained the White House official.
“Nevertheless, today I tested positive for COVID“, Psaki noted and explained that she had not been in close contact with President Biden since last Tuesday when he saw her in the White House. In that encounter they stood more than 6 feet apart and wore masks, The Associated Press reported.
Did she put President Biden at risk?
“While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday, and tested negative for four days after that last contact, I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency,” said Psaki.
For its part, the White House confirmed that President Biden, who is constantly being tested, especially when international travel is on his agenda, had tested negative on Saturday, according to reports.
Thanks to the vaccine!
The press secretary attributed her mild Covid-19 symptoms to having received the vaccine. “Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms which has enabled me to continue working from home,” the official said in the press release.
“I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the ten-day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution” Psaki concluded.
Following her decision, Psaki did not accompany President Biden, who was traveling to Rome this weekend to attend the G-20 summit. On Monday he will continue to Glasgow, Scotland, in order to make an appearance at a United Nations (UN) climate summit.
Since before leaving Washington, other members of the White House and others traveling with the president have been tested for COVID-19 on a daily basis, and all are fully vaccinated. Some officials have even received booster shots.
The president is ‘protected’
Several members of the government, including the president, have received a third booster shot. This is because of the close quarters in which they often work and the constant travel required of the president. Biden received his booster injection on September 27, after the CDC approved the third dose.
The president doesn’t travel without someone to cover press matters, so he will be accompanied by Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House’s chief deputy assistant secretary for press. Although she is the first in the White House, Psaki is not the first in the Biden administration to test positive, just a few days ago Alejandro Mayorkas, head of DHS, said he had COVID-19.
Alejandro Mayorkas, head of DHS, tests positive for COVID-19
Alejandro Mayorkas, head of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tested positive for COVID-19, his office reported. The Secretary of Homeland Security tested positive for COVID-19. However, Mayorkas has “only mild congestion,” Marsha Espinosa, a DHS spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Following medical advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mayorkas will remain in isolation, although he will continue to work from home. In a statement released by CNN, authorities indicated that they had begun to track the people with whom the secretary had had contact in recent days.
Some commitments will have to wait
Mayorkas had some commitments scheduled in the coming days. Among them, a trip with the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, to Colombia. Unfortunately, the Secretary of Homeland Security will not be able to accompany him. As part of the protocols that have been implemented for official trips outside the country, Mayorkas underwent a test for Covid-19 and the results indicated he had contracted coronavirus.
Alejandro Mayorkas, who has directed the United States Department of Homeland Security since February 2, became the first Hispanic and the first immigrant to head the agency, EFE reported. White House confirms first COVID-19 case in Biden administration.
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