A White House aide who traveled internationally with President Joe Biden last week tested positive for COVID-19 before taking a flight back to the U.S., Bloomberg News reported Thursday.
The White House did not immediately respond when asked to confirm the report. It is unknown whether the individual had in-person contact with Biden during the trip. While it has not been confirmed that the individual is vaccinated, Biden’s White House mandates vaccines for all staff.
Scoop: A White House aide who accompanied Biden to international summits in Europe last week tested positive for coronavirus infection before the president returned to the U.S. The aide and some of Biden’s other traveling staff remained behind in Scotland, sources tell me.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) November 4, 2021
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday, revealing that she skipped out on Biden’s trip overseas due to contracting the virus. The White House said Psaki had not been in contact with Biden for five days, but it is unclear whether her case is connected to the aide who tested positive while in Europe. (RELATED: More Texas Democrats Who Fled State Test Positive For COVID)
“Today, I tested positive for COVID. 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,” Psaki said in a statement provided by the White House. “I last saw the President on Tuesday, when we sat outside more than six-feet apart, and wore masks.”
The aide would be the latest in a series of White House officials to contract breakthrough cases of COVID-19. The Biden administration came under fire in July after Psaki admitted that the White House had seen previous breakthrough cases but had not disclosed them to the public.
Contracting COVID-19 while vaccinated is rare, but possible, and such cases are typically far less severe than they might have been had the individual not been vaccinated.
“Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms which has enabled me to continue working from home,” Psaki said. “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.”
Biden returned to the U.S. on Wednesday, and has appeared in public on multiple occasions since his return.