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White House press secretary Jen Psaki tests positive for COVID-19

The president’s press secretary was tested in preparation for President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe.
 
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Friday in Washington.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Friday in Washington. [ PATRICK SEMANSKY | AP ]
Published March 22, 2022|Updated March 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that she is positive again for COVID-19 and will not accompany President Joe Biden to Europe for meetings on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden tested negative on Tuesday, she said.

Psaki tweeted that she took a laboratory test for COVID-19 in preparation for the trip, which gets underway on Wednesday, and was later notified of a positive result.

She said she had two “socially distanced meetings” with Biden on Monday and that he is not considered a “close contact” under guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She said she shared the news “out of an abundance of transparency.”

Psaki tweeted and released a statement a short time before she was scheduled to step into the White House press room for her daily briefing, accompanied by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who was joining her to discuss the trip.

After a brief delay, Chris Meagher, a deputy press secretary, introduced Sullivan to a waiting White House press corps and he proceeded with the briefing.

Psaki said she will follow CDC guidance and no longer accompany Biden on his stops in Belgium, for a series of meetings with European leaders on Russia’s war in Ukraine, and in Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine and has taken in millions of Ukrainians fleeing warfare.

Psaki said she has only experienced mild symptoms and credited being vaccinated against COVID-19. She said under White House COVID-19 protocols, she will work from home and plan to return to work at the end of a five-day isolation period and a negative test.

This is the second time that COVID-19 has forced Psaki to bow out of accompanying Biden abroad. She sat out last fall’s trip to Rome and Glasgow, Scotland, after disclosing she had tested positive.

By Associated Press Writer Darlene Superville

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How to get tested

Tampa Bay: The Times can help you find the free, public COVID-19 testing sites in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

Florida: The Department of Health has a website that lists testing sites in the state. Some information may be out of date.

The U.S.: The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that can help you find a testing site.

• • •

How to get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up and booster shots for eligible recipients are being administered at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination sites. Many allow appointments to be booked online. Here’s how to find a site near you:

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Find a site: Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites in your ZIP code.

More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline.

Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

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OMICRON VARIANT: Omicron changed what we know about COVID. Here’s the latest on how the infectious COVID-19 variant affects masks, vaccines, boosters and quarantining.

KIDS AND VACCINES: Got questions about vaccinating your kid? Here are some answers.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused about which COVID booster to get? This guide will help.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there side effects? Why do I need it? Here’s the answers to your questions.

PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.

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