Jen Psaki, Joe Biden’s White House press secretary, noted Sunday, she had tested positive for Covid-19.
Psaki, 42, did not travel with Biden to Rome for this week’s G20 summit. The president is also due to travel to Glasgow for the COP26 climate talks. Biden was accompanied to Europe by his main deputy press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre.
News of a positive test for a close aide to the president came just over a year after a White House epidemic hit then-President Donald Trump, who fell seriously ill and has was forced to spend time in the hospital.
In a declaration, Psaki said she last saw Biden, 78, on Tuesday, “when we sat outside more than 6 feet apart and wore masks.”
Biden tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday, Reuters said citing “someone familiar with the matter”.
Psaki said she remained in the United States “due to a family emergency, members of my household having tested positive for Covid-19”. She has two children.
âSince then,â Psaki continued, âI have quarantined and tested negative by PCR for Covid on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But today I tested positive for Covid.
“Although I have not had close in-person contact with the President or senior White House staff since Wednesday and tested negative for four days after this last contact, I am disclosing the positive test. today by abundance of transparency. “
Psaki also said that âthanks to the vaccine, I only experienced mild symptoms, which allowed me to continue working from home.
“I plan to return to work in person at the end of the 10-day quarantine after a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement beyond [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] advice, taken an abundance of caution.
White House staff and others traveling with the president began to undergo daily tests for Covid-19 before leaving Washington and are all fully vaccinated. Many officials also received booster shots, due to the close environment and frequent travel associated with their work.
Biden received his Covid-19 booster on September 27, shortly after federal regulators approved the third dose for many Americans.
Eric Feigl-Ding, epidemiologist and senior researcher at the Federation of American Scientists, responded to the news that Psaki had worn a mask around Biden on Sunday by tweeting: “It’s good to always mask yourself, even if he is vaxxed. “
According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States has recorded nearly 46 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 745,000 deaths. Resistance to vaccination warrants remains a concern, especially among Republican voters, although the number of cases is slowing.
On Sunday, the CDC said the United States administered 422,070,099 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, up from 420,657,683 doses on Saturday. The agency said 221,520,153 people had received at least one dose, while 192,453,500 people were fully vaccinated.
The CDC’s tally includes the two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech and the single-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. About 18.6 million people received a booster dose.
Full approval of children aged five to 12 to receive the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is expected as early as this week.