The press secretary of the White House, Jen Psaki, tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday and is suffering mild symptoms, he said in a statement.
Psaki, 42, said she is vaccinated and last saw the president Joe Biden on Tuesday, when they sat more than 6 feet apart and wore face masks. Biden tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday, a person familiar with the matter said.
“I’m revealing today’s positive test for over-transparency,” said Psaki, who is the highest-profile person in the Biden administration to have contracted Covid-19 since taking office in January.
Psaki decided not to join Biden on his trip to Rome and Glasgow this week because a member of his household tested positive for the virus, after which he quarantined himself, he said. He has been in quarantine since Wednesday and tested negative repeatedly before testing positive on Sunday, he noted.
Psaki planned to return to work at the end of a 10-day quarantine period, following a negative rapid test for Covid-19, it said in the statement.
The White House has been fighting to control the pandemic, and millions of Americans refuse to receive life-saving vaccines.
Psaki said earlier in the year that Biden, who is fully vaccinated, undergoes random testing every two weeks as surveillance, at the request of his doctor, Kevin O’Connor. Biden, 78, received three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc/BioNTech, including a booster last month.
Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, avoided face masks and downplayed the severity of the virus in its early stages. He contracted Covid-19 in the final stages of the 2020 presidential campaign and many of his staff, including the former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, they got infected.