Nov 1, 2021: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says she has contracted COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms.
In a statement on Sunday, Psaki said she was last in contact with United States President Joe Biden on Tuesday, when she met him in the White House, where they were more than 6 feet apart and wearing masks.
Biden, who is frequently tested, was last tested negative on Saturday, according to the White House. Saki, 42, did not travel with Biden for the Group of 20 summit this weekend and for the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland on Monday.
Saki said she had planned to travel with the president but canceled the trip when he was about to leave for Europe after learning that her family had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative via PCR on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays,” Saki said in a statement. “However, today, I had a positive test result for COVID.”
Psaki, who is fully vaccinated, said she is only exhibiting mild symptoms.
Psaki says she has not had close personal contact with the president or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday – and for four days after that last contact, she tested negative but that she is revealing the positive result in the interests of transparency.
White House staff and others traveling with the president have been testing COVID-19 daily before leaving for Washington, D.C., and all have been fully vaccinated. Many personnel have 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 a third dose for many Americans. Biden is accompanied by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Crane Jean-Pierre. Saki is the highest-ranking official in the Biden administration who has contracted the virus since the President took Office in January.
She said she would return to work in person after a 10-day quarantine and a negative PCR test.
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