Several states in the United States will allow school students not to wear the mask in classrooms.
The White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, announced through her Twitter account that she had tested positive for covid-19, specifying that the president of the United States, Joe Biden, had tested negative.
“Yesterday I had two meetings respecting the distance with the president and it is not considered a case of contact,” he said, on the eve of Biden’s departure to Europe for NATO and European Union meetings on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in addition to a visit to Poland.
Psaki said she was vaccinated against covid-19 and that she only had “mild symptoms” for which she would undergo a five-day self-isolation period.
The spokeswoman had already been infected with covid-19 last October, which then prevented her from traveling with Biden to the G20 summit in Rome.
Psaki’s announcement comes as covid-19 cases are multiplying again, even in the entourage of the US president. The White House said on March 15 that Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, had been infected even though his wife had tested negative for the virus.
Biden leaves Wednesday for a long-awaited trip to Europe, aimed at cementing the alliance of Western countries in the face of Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
The US president will be in Brussels for summits of the Atlantic Alliance and the EU, and then will go to Poland, a US ally within NATO, which is receiving a large influx of Ukrainian refugees.
In recent days, a meeting planned for Saint Patrick’s Day at the White House between Joe Biden and Ireland’s Prime Minister, Micheál Martin, had to be canceled after the European ruler tested positive for covid-19 in Washington, although clarified that the US president had not been affected.
The meeting that was scheduled in the Oval Office between the two leaders was canceled and replaced by a video conference session after the Irishman, whose position is known as the Taoiseach, had to withdraw.
In addition, the White House also canceled an annual St. Patrick’s Day ceremony in which the Irish prime minister presents the US president with a bowl of clover grown in Ballinskelligs, in southwestern Ireland. This time, instead, Biden will “host a St. Patrick’s Day event” without the Taoiseach, the White House explained.
Martin was photographed sitting next to the Speaker of the House of Representatives (Lower), Democrat Nancy Pelosi, at the Irish Fund Gala event at the National Building Museum in Washington. But soon after he dropped out, due to a positive PCR test.
Joe Biden was at the same dinner, but a White House official said the president was not considered to be at risk and had not been tested. “He is not a close contact (to Martin), so the test will not be done.”