Biden's press secretary tests positive for Covid after deciding not to attend COP26

31 October 2021, 22:04 | Updated: 31 October 2021, 22:53

Jen Psaki has tested positive for Covid, but says she has not seen the President in person since Tuesday
Jen Psaki has tested positive for Covid, but says she has not seen the President in person since Tuesday. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Joe Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for Covid-19.

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Ms Psaki said in a statement that she had decided not to travel to the G20 and COP26 summits with Mr Biden after several members of her family tested positive for the virus.

She herself tested positive four days later, although she added she had not seen the President in person since Tuesday.

"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," said Ms Psaki in a statement.

Read more: Analysis: What we know from day one of COP26

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"Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for Covid on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"However, today I tested positive for Covid.

"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.

"I last saw the President on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six-feet apart, and wore masks."

She went on to say that she "only experienced mild symptoms" because she was vaccinated, and she would continue working from home for the duration of her 10-day quarantine.

Joe Biden is one of over 100 world leaders travelling to Glasgow for the COP26 summit, which began on Sunday.

He also attended the G20 in Rome over the weekend.

Ms Psaki's diagnosis may add to concerns that COP25 - which is expected to be attended by up to 25,000 people - could act as a 'superspreader' event for coronavirus.

A number of measures have been taken to minimise the chances of this, such as employing a test and trace system and offering vaccines to delegates.