Jen Psaki, fully vaccinated has COVID, won’t travel to Europe
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fully vaccinated White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that she is positive again for COVID-19 and will not accompany President Joe Biden to Europe this week for urgent meetings with world counterparts on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden tested negative on Tuesday, she said.
Psaki’s reinfection follows recent positive tests for Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband and Ireland’s prime minister, who was in the nation’s capital last week for a series of in-person celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day with Biden and other officials.
The scares happened as the Biden administration tries to help the United States ease back into its pre-pandemic patterns, even as cases climb in Europe due to a new, more contagious variant of the omicron strain of the coronavirus.
Psaki tweeted that she took a laboratory test for COVID-19 as part of her preparation for the trip, which gets underway on Wednesday, and was later notified of a positive result.
She said she had two “socially distanced meetings” with Biden on Monday and that he is not considered a “close contact” under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Psaki tweeted and released a statement a short time before she was scheduled to step into the White House press room for her daily briefing, accompanied by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who was joining her to discuss the trip.
After a brief delay, White House deputy press secretary Chris Meagher entered and introduced Sullivan to a waiting White House press corps.
“Obviously, we’ve had some last-minute adjustments to the briefing, which is why I’m up here today,” Meagher said before he read a statement on Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson’s performance at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He took no questions.
Biden press secretary has COVID, won’t travel to Europe The Associated Press – en Español