The White House’s deputy spokeswoman said Sunday she has tested positive for Covid-19 following a trip to Europe with President Joe Biden that she only joined because the senior press secretary canceled after getting her own positive test.
The announcement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was the latest in a string of Covid cases among people who have spent time with Biden or people around him.
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Jean-Pierre said she had a positive PCR test after returning in the early hours of Sunday to the United States with Biden from Brussels and Poland. But she said the president, who has been vaccinated and boosted, was not in danger.
“This afternoon… I took a PCR test. That test came back positive. I last saw the president during a socially distanced meeting yesterday, and the president is not considered a close contact as defined by CDC guidance,” she said in a statement.
“I am sharing the news of my positive test today out of an abundance of transparency,” said Jean-Pierre, who added that she is experiencing “mild symptoms” and has been fully vaccinated.
Last Tuesday, on the eve of Biden’s departure, Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced she had received a positive Covid test. This required Jean-Pierre to fill in for Psaki on the high-profile trip, which included a series of summits in Belgium and a visit with US troops and Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
Earlier this month, Biden attended a dinner in Washington where he met with Ireland’s prime minister, Micheal Martin, who then abruptly left the gala after being informed of a positive Covid test.
The White House said that Biden had not spent enough time with Martin to be at risk and did not require more frequent testing.
Shortly before Martin’s case, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, who regularly sees Biden, also tested positive for Covid-19.