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Blinken tests positive for COVID, has mild symptoms

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in parts of the world, including the U.S. (CNN, POOL, KING, CSPAN, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, STATE.GOV)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 3:15 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department said Wednesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and related events over the weekend.

Spokesman Ned Price said Blinken tested positive in a PCR test on Wednesday afternoon. Price said Blinken is fully vaccinated and is experiencing only mild symptoms.

Blinken tested negative Tuesday and again earlier Wednesday morning with antigen tests but took the PCR test after devloping symptoms. Blinken has not met in person with President Joe Biden for “several days” and is not considered a close contact of the president, according to the White House and State Department.

New information was released on another omicron variant offshoot. (CNN, STRINGR, CDC, PFIZER, JAMA)

Before testing positive, Blinken met Wednesday at the State Department with the Swedish foreign minister and on Tuesday with the Mexican foreign secretary. Price said the department is tracking all close contacts that Blinken has had over the past several days and notifying them of the situation.

Blinken had been scheduled to give a speech Thursday about the Biden administration’s China policy, but Price said that speech has been indefinitely postponed.

Price said Blinken, who attended the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday as well as a number of receptions related to it through the weekend, would isolate at home and work virtually until the quarantine period is over.

He is the latest Biden administration figure to test positive. Vice President Kamala Harris was cleared to return to to the White House on Tuesday after testing positive last week.

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