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Jen Psaki tests positive for COVID-19, won’t join Biden for Europe trip

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Aug. 6, 2021, at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott)
March 22, 2022

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki – one of President Joe Biden’s closest administration members – has tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.

Psaki tested positive during a routine test required for administration members accompanying Biden on his trip to Europe. Now that she has tested positive, she won’t be joining Biden on his trip and will instead quarantine at home.

“Today, in preparation for travel to Europe, I took a PCR test this morning. That test came back positive, which means I will be adhering to CDC guidance and no longer be traveling on the President’s trip to Europe,” Psaki said in a statement.

Psaki added that Biden tested negative today and is not considered a close contact.

“I had two socially-distanced 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 an abundance of transparency,” she added.

Psaki said she is only experiencing “mild symptoms” which she attributes to being vaccinated. She added that she will work from home during a five-day quarantine and will return to work after testing negative.

On Monday, Psaki had appeared at the White House for a press briefing alongside Deputy National Security Advisor Anne Neuberger.

Biden will travel to Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday where he is set to meet with NATO allies and leader of G7 and the European Union. The leaders will discuss ways to support Ukraine and invoking consequences on Russia.

On Friday, Biden will travel to Warsaw, Poland, where he will meet with President Andrzej Duda.

Psaki had said on Monday that the administration was “still finalizing … details of the trip and specifics” of Biden’s schedule in Poland.

This isn’t the first time Psaki tested positive for COVID-19.

In October 2021, Psaki also tested positive and said she was experiencing mild symptoms that she also attributed to being vaccinated at the time.

In a statement released Oct. 31, 2021, Psaki said she had decided not to travel abroad with Biden “due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19.”

After initially testing negative for four days in a row, she ultimately tested positive and underwent quarantine.