US Secretary of State Blinken tests positive for Covid

Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies at the hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Capitol Related Programs in Washington, DC on April 27, 2022, to review the fiscal year budget request. 2023 for the United States Department of State.

Carolyn Kaster | AFP | Getty Images

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday afternoon, the State Department said.

Blinken, who is fully vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus, “is exhibiting only mild symptoms,” according to a State Department statement.

The senior diplomat did not see the president Joe Biden in person in the last few days and is not considered close contact with Biden, the statement said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden tested negative on the Covid test on Tuesday.

Blinken and his wife Evan Ryan, along with Biden, attended the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington Saturday night with 2,600 people, including high-profile reporters and government officials. Participants in that dinner had to be vaccinated or have a negative Covid test.

Blinken and his wife were NBC Universal guests at the event.

Ryan is the White House cabinet secretary, serving as the liaison between Biden and the US departments and agencies whose leaders make up the president’s cabinet.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Blinken “will quarantine at home, follow him. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines.

“I know he can’t wait to get back to the office, get back to his full schedule, and get back on the road as soon as he’s able to,” said Price, who also attended the White House Correspondents Gala.

Before getting a positive result for Covid through a PCR test, Blinken had to speak at the Kuwait embassy in Washington for a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees event.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday said Department of Defense officials who attended the correspondents dinner did not test positive for Covid.

In addition to Kirby, US Space Force General John Raymond was in attendance.

– Additional reporting of Amanda Macia