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“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,” Psaki said in a statement. ” 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.”
President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Biden’s inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)
Psaki added that Biden “is tested on a regular basis.” On Sunday, he tested negative in an antigen test. “This morning, after being notified of the staffer’s positive test, the President received a PCR test and tested negative. He will be tested again on Wednesday.”
“Others on Air Force One who were in close contact with this staff member are being contacted and will be advised to get tested per CDC guidance,” she added.
Zurich – Switzerland, January 25, 2018: The US Air Force One at Zurich Airport. (iStock)
The White House revealed that the staff member who tested positive “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.”
Psaki also insisted that Biden does not need to quarantine.
“The president has a full schedule today and is not in need of quarantine,” she said. “We will provide information to all of you as outlined with our commitment from just a few months ago about being transparent, about close contacts. 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.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House December 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)