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White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre tests positive for Covid after Biden trip to Europe

White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive last week, which prevented her from accompanying Biden to Belgium and Poland.
Image: Karine Jean-Pierre
Deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre takes a question from a reporter during a press briefing at the White House, on July 30, 2021.Andrew Harnik / AP fle

WASHINGTON — White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said she tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday after returning from President Joe Biden's trip to Europe.

Jean-Pierre said she took a PCR test, which showed the positive result. She suggested in a statement that it didn't affect Biden.

"I last saw the president during a socially distanced meeting 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," her statement on Sunday said.

Jean-Pierre said she was only experiencing mild symptoms and plans to work from home and return to the White House after a five-day isolation period and negative test.

Her positive test result came several days after White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for Covid, which prevented her from accompanying the president on his trip to Belgium and Poland. Psaki also said at the time that Biden was not considered a close contact after two socially distanced meetings with him.

The White House said Biden tested negative for Covid on Monday morning as part of his regular testing schedule.

Meanwhile, a State Department spokesman said Secretary of State Antony Blinken will have to wear masks and undergo Covid testing after the department determined he was a close contact of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who announced on Monday that he tested positive for Covid. Blinken is in Israel to discuss a range of issues, including Russia's invasion into Ukraine, Iran's nuclear capabilities and Israeli-Palestinian relations.