Jen Psaki, the Greek-American White House press secretary, announced on Sunday that she has tested positive for Covid-19, after members of her household did so.
The White House announced Thursday that Psaki would no longer join Biden on his trip abroad “for at least the first few days,” citing a family emergency.
White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre instead traveled with the President for his week-long trip to Italy for the G-20 and Scotland for the Climate Summit.
“On Wednesday, in coordination with senior leadership at the White House and the medical team, I made the decision not to travel on the foreign trip with the President due to a family emergency, which was members of my household testing positive for COVID-19,” Psaki said in the Sunday statement.
“Since then, I have quarantined and tested negative (via PCR) for COVID on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. However, today, I tested positive for COVID.”
She continued: “I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the ten-day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution.”
Jen Psaki says she had no close in-person contact with Biden
“While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday – and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today’s positive test out of an abundance of transparency,” she said.
“I last saw the President on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six feet apart, and wore masks,” she added.
Psaki, of Irish, Greek and Polish descent, with her Greek roots in Messinia through her father James R. Psaki, is one of seven women to fill the upper ranks of Biden’s communications team, making it the first of its kind where all top aides tasked with speaking for a presidential administration are female.
Previously, the White House communications team has largely been dominated by male voices, like most other aspects of the West Wing.
The decision to create the first all-female senior communications staff could be another way Biden has decided to show the public his commitment to diversity within his administration.