White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki could have brought COVID-19 to Rome and Glasgow if she had not changed her plans at the last minute and decided not to travel with President Joe Biden when members of her family started testing positive for the disease on Wednesday.
Psaki did not initially test positive for the coronavirus, but did end up with the diagnosis on Sunday after testing on consecutive days and despite being vaccinated against the virus, Fox News reported.
“On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership at the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel on the foreign trip with the president due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19,” Psaki said in a statement, according to Fox.
Psaki working from home
President Biden was tested on Sunday as well and was negative, Reuters reported.
“I last saw the president on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six feet apart and wore masks,” Psaki said in her statement. “Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms, which has enabled me to continue working from home.”
The press secretary said she plans to come back to work in person once her 10-day quarantine has passed and she tests negative for the virus.
“I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the ten-day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution,” she said.
COVID at the White House
The White House has had a bit of a coronavirus outbreak in recent days, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testing positive last week, Fox noted.
Biden has been seen around Washington, D.C. in recent weeks maskless in defiance of local mandates, and he coughed into his hand at a recent public event and then shook hands with several officials.
Of course, COVID-19 is generally mild for those who have been vaccinated, so it is pretty useless to continue making such a big deal of it for the general public.
Still, given that Biden is 78, and that guidance from the CDC says “[t]he risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age,” it’s probably not a good idea to expose the president to the virus or for him to become infected.
Unless, perhaps, playing the sympathy card is Democrats’ plan to get Biden out from under his horrific approval ratings.