White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tests positive for COVID-19 for a second time

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tests positive for COVID-19 for a second time
Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers questions from members of the press Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced on Tuesday that she has tested positive for COVID-19 for a second time, just one day before she was set to join President Joe Biden's entourage to Europe.

Biden and his battalion of advisers are departing the United States for Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, where they will hold talks with our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, the G7, and the European Union on how to diffuse Russian President Vladimir Putin's genocide in Ukraine. The president and his team will then meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw on Friday, where the two men will discuss humanitarian efforts and additional sanctions on Russia.

According to Reuters, "the White House also said Biden will host a call Monday at 11 a.m. EST with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom to discuss their coordinated responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."

Psaki, Biden's chief spokesperson, however, will not be going, due to her coronavirus diagnosis. Psaki's first bout of the bug occurred last November.

"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 tweeted.

Psaki emphasized that Biden was not exposed.

"I had two socially-distanced meetings with the President yesterday, and he 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. The President tested negative today via PCR test," she continued.

Psaki added that "thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms. In alignment with White House COVID-19 protocols, I will work from home and plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of a five-day isolation period and a negative test."

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