Jen Psaki experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for COVID

As White House press secretary, Jen Psaki serves as the public face of the Biden administration. But it may be a while before that face is back in the public eye.

The Hill reported Sunday that Psaki had tested positive for COVID-19.

“While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday — and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency,” the press secretary said in a statement.

Psaki in quarantine

Psaki is said to be experiencing mild symptoms and plans to resume her work following a 10-day quarantine period and after testing negative for the disease. “Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms, which has enabled me to continue working from home” in the meantime, she said in her statement, according to Fox News.

According to CBS News, Psaki said she last came in contact with the president on Tuesday, “when we sat outside more than six feet apart, and wore masks.”

Psaki had previously said she wouldn’t be joining the president on a trip to Europe as planned because of a “family emergency,” CBS reported. She revealed in her Sunday statement that she’d been quarantining and undergoing daily coronavirus testing since then.

Another breakthrough case

Psaki is the latest high-profile example of what is known as a “breakthrough case” of COVID-19, an instance in which a fully vaccinated person nevertheless becomes infected.

According to The Hill, the Biden administration does not typically disclose breakthrough cases among staff unless an individual has had direct contact with the president or chooses to make his or her diagnosis public.

Other senior officials to recently contract COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated include Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Biden vaccine mandate faces legal challenge

News of Psaki’s condition comes as the White House is attempting to fend off opposition to its mandate on coronavirus vaccinations. Fox News reported last week that 10 states are challenging an executive order which requires that all federal contractors be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, the states contend there is no constitutional authority for such a move.

“Neither Article II of the U.S. Constitution nor any act of Congress authorizes defendants to implement their vaccine mandate,” their suit claims, according to Fox. “Far from increasing economy and efficiency in procurement, the contractor vaccine mandate will have deleterious effects on economy and inefficiency by causing the large-scale resignations of unvaccinated employees of federal contractors.”

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