A staff member who was on Air Force One with President Biden On Friday ended up testing positive for COVID on Monday morning, WH press secretary Jen Psaki stated in a statement.
Jen Psaki Stated The Following: “On Monday morning, a mid-level staff member, who does not regularly have contact with the President, received a positive result for a COVID-19 test”
She Then Said: “Three days earlier, on Friday, that staff member had spent approximately 30 minutes in proximity to the President on Air Force One, on the way from Orange, South Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This staff member is fully vaccinated and boosted, and tested negative prior to boarding Air Force One, as is required for everyone traveling with the President. This staff member did not begin to experience symptoms until Sunday, and was tested on Monday.”
After the WH was informed of the positive test, Biden was checked and was negative. According to Psaki who stated that the president will be tested once again Wednesday due to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for fully vaccinated people, Biden’s daily routine remains unchanged.
The CDC states that people who have been fully vaccinated do not need to be quarantined after being exposed to a person with COVID, unless they develop symptoms.
Psaki says “a mid-level staff member” who was in proximity to Biden on Friday tested positive for COVID this morning.— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) December 21, 2021
Biden tested negative today and will be tested again on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/zOgY2j1A8o
Psaki’s announcement follows after questions were raised about possible outbreaks at the White House, various agencies and during Monday’s press conference. One reporter asked Psaki if Biden had come into contact with COVID-positive people and was required to quarantine. Although the press secretary would not confirm whether there were outbreaks, she pointed reporters to specific agencies for more information. She also noted that breakthrough cases are possible.
“The president has a full-time staff and has not needed to be in quarantine. We talked about our commitment a few months ago about being transparent, about close contacts,” Psaki said. “I don’t have any updates for you at this point in time, but again, we expect there to be breakthrough cases across the country, right? And certainly in the federal government. And the most important thing to note for you and for others is that the 99% or more at this point of the White House staff is vaccinated, boosters are strongly recommended anddistributed. We have a very thorough process here that people abide by who are going to have close contact with the president and even beyond that, and those protocols go above and beyond CDC guidelines.”
In her statement a few hours later Psaki once again referred to the administration’s “commitment” to transparency. The White House Medical Unit determines if there is a “close contact.”
Psaki Then Stated: “As we stated last summer, we believe it is in the public’s interest to know if any of the four principals (President, Vice President, First Lady, and Second Gentleman) are considered to have been in close contact with a White House official who subsequently tests positive for COVID-19 shortly after that contact”