Press Secretary Jen Psaki returns to work after Covid-19

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki returned to the White House briefing room podium on Friday, 12 days after testing positive for Covid-19.

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"While I have not had close contact in person with the President or senior members of the White House staff since Wednesday — and tested negative for four days after that last contact — I am disclosing today's positive test out of an abundance of transparency," she said in an Oct. 31 statement announcing her positive test.

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Psaki was scheduled to travel with President Joe Biden two weeks ago on his trip to Europe for G-20 meetings and a United Nations climate change summit but at the last minute backed out due to a "family emergency." Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre traveled in her place. Psaki later disclosed in her statement that she did not go because several members of her family had tested positive for Covid.

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"I had intended to go on the trip with the president about two weeks ago. I did not go on the trip because I had members of my household who tested positive for Covid. So out of an abundance of caution, I stayed home," she said in a White House press briefing Friday.

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Psaki said she had not seen the president for five days when she tested positive and that they "wore masks and we were sitting outside." Biden received his booster shot at the end of September.

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Psaki experienced mild Covid-19 symptoms, "primarily fatigue," she said. She said she "fortunately" does not have any lingering symptoms and was able to continue working remotely.

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Psaki's quarantine period started Nov. 1 and ended Wednesday. She received a negative Covid-19 rapid test result Thursday in accordance with White House policy, and was then cleared to return to work.

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"I remain incredibly grateful for the vaccine for keeping me safe and other people in my house safe as well," she said.

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