Washington: The White House’s Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that she has tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from President Joe Bidens recent trip to Europe.
In a statement on Sunday, she said: “This afternoon, after returning from the President’s trip to Europe, I took a PCR test. That test came back positive.
“I last saw the President during a socially distanced meeting yesterday (Saturday), 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.”
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a close contact is defined as someone who is less than 6 feet away from an infected individual for more than 15 minutes.
Jean-Pierre further said that she “only experienced mild symptoms” as she was “fully vaccinated and boosted”.
“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.”
Ahead of Biden’s recently-concluded trip, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had tested positive for the virus for a second time in just a few months, reports Xinhua news agency.
Jean-Pierre, 44, joined a list of prominent US figures who have recently been infected with Covid-19, including former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.
As of Monday morning, the US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 79,954,418 and 976,702.
Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, had recently said that he expects “an uptick in cases” due to Omicron’s subvariant BA.2.
Fauci said the new strain is about 50 to 60 per cent more transmissible than the first Omicron strain and could take over as the dominant strain in the US.