White House press secretary Jen Psaki reveals she has COVID-19
President Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki said on Sunday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, the highest-ranking White House official to have publicly revealed a case in this administration.
Psaki, who is fully vaccinated, said she has experienced only mild symptoms. In a statement, she said she had not had contact with senior White House officials since Wednesday — four days before she tested positive — and last saw Biden on Tuesday, when they were wearing masks and were more than six feet apart from each other, outdoors.
"I am disclosing today's positive test out of an abundance of transparency," Psaki said in a statement. She said she will quarantine for at least ten days and won't return to the White House until receiving a negative rapid test.
The White House had announced early on Thursday morning that Psaki would not be traveling with Biden to the G-20 summit in Rome due to a family emergency. That emergency, she said on Sunday, was that members of her household had tested positive for COVID-19.
"Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, today, I tested positive for COVID," Psaki said.
She said her symptoms are mild enough to continue working at home.
Psaki is not the first White House press secretary to get COVID. During the Trump administration, before vaccines were available, her predecessor Kayleigh McEnany tested positive, as did the president, first lady, and many White House officials and aides.
The Biden White House has been very cautious of the virus, requiring masks indoors except for a brief period this spring. White House staff who come in contact with the president are frequently tested.
Both Biden and Vice President Harris have received booster shots since they have been authorized.
Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.