Press secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for the coronavirus, the highest White House official confirmed to have contracted it.
In a statement Sunday, Psaki said she contracted the virus after several members of her family, prompting her to stay home during President Biden’s trip abroad.
“On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership at the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel in the foreign trip with the president due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19,” Psaki said.
“Since then, I have quarantined and tested negatively (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday,” she added. “However, today, I tested positive for COVID.”
Psaki emphasized that she did not have any “close contact” with the president or senior members of the White House staff since her family contracted the virus.
“I last saw the president on Tuesday, and we sat outside more than 6 feet apart, and wore masks,” she said.
According to the fully-vaccinated Psaki, the vaccine has kept her symptoms mild, enabling her to work from home.
“Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experience mild symptoms which has enabled me to continue working from home,” she concluded. “I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the 10-day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution.”
Sharing full statement and grateful I am vaccinated and for the amazing Biden team pic.twitter.com/QDokXo47dK
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) October 31, 2021
President Biden, who recently received his coronavirus booster shot, left for Europe on Thursday where he met with several world leaders at the G-20 Summit, including Pope Francis.
As noted by the Hill, the White House has “declined to disclose breakthrough COVID-19 cases within its ranks unless the individual chooses to go public or has had direct contact with the president.”
Both Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and State Department spokesperson Ned Price have tested positive for coronavirus after being fully vaccinated.
To date, nearly 412 million doses of the FDA approved COVID vaccines have been administered in the United States, and over 189 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the mRNA COVID vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna reduce the risk of severe illness in people who are fully vaccinated by 90 percent or more.