WH communications director is COVID-positive

Another member of the Biden administration has contracted COVID-19.

According to the Washington Times, Kate Bedingfield, the White House communications director, announced her positive COVID diagnosis on Friday. 

“This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Thanks to being fully vaccinated and boosted, I am only experiencing mild symptoms,” Bedingfield added in a subsequent post. “In alignment with White House COVID-19 protocols, I will work from home and plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of a five-day isolation period and a negative test.”

Biden “not . . . a close contact”

Bedingfield wrote on Twitter that she last came in contact with President Joe Biden on Wednesday. She said that the encounter took place “in a socially-distanced meeting” where she was “wearing an N-95 mask.”

Accordingly, Bedingfield wrote that Biden “is not considered a close contact” per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines. Those guidelines define close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly throughout the Biden administration in recent months. Vice President Kamala Harris is among those who have recently contracted the illness. Harris is now in isolation.

But, the spread of the coronavirus among members of the Biden administration has raised concern about the possibility of Biden himself contracting this illness. Biden has received four doses of a COVID vaccine, but many experts are still worried about the possibility of him contracting the coronavirus because of his advanced age.

Looking forward

Given the concerns about the possibility of Biden contracting the coronavirus, he will not be attending the dinner portion of the White house Correspondents’ Dinner that will take place on Saturday. Biden, though, will participate in other parts of the event.

“He has made the decision he wants to attend, in a safe way, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to show his support — showcase his support for the free press, for the work of all of you, for the work of your colleagues around the world to not only share accurate information about COVID but also report on the war in Ukraine and all of the work that happens every single day,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters this week.

Psaki went on to say that she “would expect that he may wear a mask when he’s not speaking.”

Psaki added, “and, we also took steps, including the fact that he’s not attending for the eating portion of the dinner and he’ll be there for the program, which includes several speakers, the presentation of scholarships, as you know, and, of course, his speaking and his roasting, where he will be “on the menu,” as he likes to say, when Trevor Noah is speaking.”

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