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Secretary of State Antony Blinken tests positive for Covid-19

“Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 this afternoon via a PCR test. The Secretary is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and is experiencing only mild symptoms,” Price said. “He tested negative on Tuesday and again as recently as this morning.”

Blinken will isolate at home and maintain a “virtual work schedule,” the statement added. “He looks forward to returning to the Department and resuming his full duties and travels as soon as possible.”

The top US diplomat was in attendance of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, which President Joe Biden also attended, but the two haven’t seen each other in several days and Biden is not considered a close contact, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.

Price told reporters later in the day that the State Department has “notified those individuals with whom he has been in close contact following CDC guidance” and that Blinken is working with the agency physician “to reconstruct close contacts in the appropriate period.”

“As you know, he was around a number of people this weekend,” Price said in apparent reference to Blinken’s attendance at the dinner and related events.

Blinken, Biden and a number of top US officials attended the gathering despite concerns that it could prove to be a super spreader event. Psaki said Wednesday that the President has not been a close contact of any of the people that have announced positive tests since the dinner.

“If he had, we would have announced that publicly to all of you,” Psaki said, adding that Biden last tested negative for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

The annual black tie dinner — which was hosted by comedian Trevor Noah — returned after a two-year hiatus, and Biden’s attendance marked the first time a sitting president has been at the event with members of the press since 2016.

In the days since the event, reporters and staffers from CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Politico and other participating news organizations have tested positive for the virus.
Blinken joins a number of high-profile administration officials who have tested in positive in recent weeks and months. Vice President Kamala Harris announced she had contracted the virus last month, and in March, Psaki canceled her plans to travel with the President to Belgium and Poland after testing positive for Covid-19 for the second time.
Her replacement on the Europe trip, White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, tested positive shortly after returning from the trip. Harris’ husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, tested positive for Covid-19 earlier in March.

This story has been updated with additional details.

CNN’s Mike Callahan and Donald Judd contributed to this report.

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