Biden’s White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki amid Covid, will miss Europe trip

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2021.

Jonathan Ernest | Reuters

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday and will not be traveling with President Joe Biden on his upcoming trip to Europe, she said.

Biden tested negative for Covid after taking a PCR test on Tuesday, according to PSAKI, who said she and the president had two “socially distanced meetings” on Monday.

Psaki, who took a PCR test in preparation for Biden’s trip, said she is currently only showing mild symptoms, which she attributes to having been fully vaccinated against the virus.

She also said she would be working from home in accordance with White House Covid-19 protocols.

The 43-year-old mother of two previously testedd positive for coronavirus at the end of October. As a result, Psaki did not travel with Biden on a week-long trip to Italy and Scotland, as she originally planned at the time.

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Biden leaves for Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday night to join NATO leaders at a summit to discuss the organization’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Biden will also attend a G7 meeting where world leaders are expected to discuss additional sanctions against the Kremlin.

He is also due to travel later in the week to Poland, which has become a major destination for Ukrainian war refugees.

Deputy press secretary Chris Meagher told reporters at the daily White House briefing on Tuesday, “No member of the press who attended yesterday’s briefing is considered a close contact” of PSAKI.

“We are currently conducting contact tracing, and any member of the press deemed to be a close contact will be contacted,” Meagher said.

“But, if close contact is determined, it wouldn’t be by yesterday’s briefing.”

Full statement from PSAKI on his diagnosis of Covid-19:

Today, in preparation for a trip to Europe, I took a PCR test this morning. This test came back positive, which means I will follow CDC guidelines and no longer travel on the President’s trip to Europe. I had two social distancing meetings with the president yesterday, and the president is not considered a close contact as defined by CDC guidance. I am sharing the news of my positive test today out of abundance of transparency. The president tested negative today via a PCR test. Thanks to the vaccine, I only experienced mild symptoms. In accordance with White House COVID-19 protocols, I will be working from home and plan to return to work in person at the end of a five-day isolation period and testing negative.


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