White House press secretary Jen Psaki returned to the White House briefing room Friday for the first time since testing positive for Covid-19, telling reporters she completed a 10-day quarantine and received a negative Covid-19 test on Thursday.
“It’s great to be back with all of you, although as a longtime hater of heels I do miss my slippers, which I’m sure some of the women in this room can agree with,” Psaki told reporters at a White House briefing.
Psaki, who is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, said she had intended to travel with President Joe Biden to Rome and Glasgow for his trip to Europe late last month, but stayed behind because members of her household had tested positive for Covid-19. After receiving four negative tests, she tested positive on October 31.
“I had mild symptoms, primarily fatigue, and I remain incredibly grateful for the vaccine and the impact of the vaccine in keeping me safe and other people in my house safe as well,” Psaki said.
Psaki said she had not seen the President for five days prior to her positive test, and that when she did see Biden they were outside and wearing masks. Several physicians told CNN at the time it was unlikely Psaki could have infected Biden with Covid-19.
She said she stayed behind “out of an abundance of caution” and then disclosed the positive test result “out of an abundance of transparency.”
Shortly before Biden was set to depart for Rome for the Group of 20 Summit, the White House announced Psaki would no longer join Biden on his trip abroad “for at least the first few days,” because of a family emergency. White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre instead traveled with the President.
Biden, who is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, received his booster shot last month. Vice President Kamala Harris, who is fully vaccinated with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, has also received her booster shot.
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