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Blinken tests positive for COVID-19 after meeting several foreign officials

Secretary Antony J. Blinken in a virtual U.S. Embassy London meet and greet on May 4, 2021. (State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha)
May 04, 2022

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the Department of State announced in a press release.

Blinken’s positive result via PCR test took place on Wednesday after he had met in person with several foreign officials earlier Wednesday and Tuesday. The Department said Blinken had not been around President Joe Biden in several days and was therefore not considered a close contact.

“The Secretary is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and is experiencing only mild symptoms,” the statement said, adding that he will quarantine at home and work virtually.

Hours before the announcement, Blinken held a face-to-face meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde. Blinken and Linde stood side-by-side while speaking to the media.

Blinken was set to deliver remarks on the Biden administration’s policy toward China on Thursday morning in an event hosted by The Asia Society Policy Institute. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the speech would be rescheduled for a later date.

Blinken met with Japanese National Security Advisor Akiba Takeo and Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. He also attended and delivered the keynote remarks at the 52nd annual Conference on the Americas Luncheon on Tuesday.

Blinken’s positive result comes a week after Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19.

Harris, 57, is also fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19.

Harris had taken a trip to California several days earlier where she spoke in San Francisco about a government program to address the maternal health crisis. She had not had any public events scheduled in between the trip and her positive test result.

Also last month, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19, as well as Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland’s positive result came alongside Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Vice President Kamala Harris’ communication director Jamal Simmons and Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens — all of who attended the elite Gridiron Club Dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 2.

In March, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tested positive. She had previously tested positive in October 2021. Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff had also tested positive last month.

According to the White House, Biden has not been considered a “close contact” at the time of any of his cabinet members’ positive results.