WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that she has tested positive again for COVID-19 and will not accompany President Joe Biden to Europe for meetings on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Psaki tweeted that she took a PCR test Tuesday morning in preparation for Wednesday’s trip and it came back positive.
“I had two socially-distanced meetings with the President yesterday, and he is not considered a close contact as defined by CDC guidance,” Psaki tweeted. “I am sharing the news of my positive test today out of an abundance of transparency.”
Psaki added that President Biden tested negative Tuesday after taking a PCR test.
She said she will follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and no longer accompany Biden to Belgium and Poland.
Psaki, who says she has only experienced mild symptoms, said she plans to work from home and return to work in person after isolating for five days and testing negative.
This is the second time Psaki has had COVID-19. She also tested positive at the end of October, 2021.
Psaki’s reinfection is the latest COVID-19 scare for the White House after recent positive tests for Vice President Kamala Harris’ husband and Ireland’s prime minister, who was in the nation’s capital last week for a series of in-person celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day with Biden and other officials.
The scares come as the Biden administration is trying to help the United States ease back into its pre-pandemic norms, even as cases climb in Europe due to a new variant of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
As coronavirus cases plummeted around the United States this year, and states and localities dropped their mask-wearing requirements, the White House did as well. As of March 1, neither White House staff nor reporters were required to wear face masks inside the building.
Doug Emhoff, the vice president’s husband, tested positive on March 15, the White House announced. Harris, meanwhile, has continued to test negative.
The following day, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin learned he had tested positive for COVID-19 while attending a dinner event with U.S. leaders, including Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Martin was due at the White House on March 17, to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Biden, but he made those appearances on video instead because of his diagnosis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.