Biden Spent 30 Minutes on Plane With Staffer Who Has COVID

President tests negative 3 days after possible exposure
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2021 1:52 AM CST
Staffer Who Was on Air Force One With Biden Tests Positive
President Joe Biden boards Air Force One at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in West Columbia, S.C., en route to Philadelphia after speaking at the South Carolina State University's 2021 Fall Commencement Ceremony in Orangeburg, S.C., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Biden is considered a close contact of a White House staffer who has tested positive for COVID-19, the administration announced Monday. "On Monday morning, a mid-level staff member, who does not regularly have contact with the president, received a positive result for a COVID-19 test," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement cited by Fox News. "Three days earlier, on Friday, that staff member had spent approximately 30 minutes in proximity to the president on Air Force One, on the way from Orange, South Carolina, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania."

The staffer "is fully vaccinated and boosted, and tested negative prior to boarding Air Force One, as is required for everyone traveling with the president. This staff member did not begin to experience symptoms until Sunday, and was tested on Monday." Biden had tested negative on an antigen test Sunday as part of his regular testing schedule, and took a PCR test Monday that came back negative after receiving news of the staffer with COVID. CDC guidance does not require Biden to quarantine, Psaki said, and he will be tested again Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. "We expect there to be breakthrough cases across the country, right?" she said. "And certainly in the federal government." (More COVID-19 stories.)

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