White House Staff On Board Air Force One Tests Covid Positive

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A White House staff member who was in close contact with President Joe Biden last week was found to have infected with coronavirus later, the White House announced.

The White House did not reveal the identity of the mid-level staff, who on Friday spent approximately 30 minutes in proximity to the President on Air Force One, on the way from Orangeburg, South Carolina to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The staff member, who is an aide to the President, tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

"This staff member 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," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

As part of a regular testing, President Biden received an antigen test Sunday, and tested negative.

But following the confirmation of the White House aide's infection, the President was subjected to a PCR test and tested negative on Monday morning.

He will be tested again on Wednesday, the White House said.

Psaki made it clear that since CDC guidance does not require fully vaccinated people to quarantine after an exposure, the President will continue with his daily schedule.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to receive the President's Daily Brief at the Oval Office at 10:05 AM Tuesday.

In the afternoon, he will deliver remarks on the status of the country's fight against the pandemic.

Biden is expected to announce a more aggressive federal strategy to tackle the surge in Covid positive cases driven by the delta variant.

According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monday, the highly transmissible omicron variant has become the most dominant strain of the virus.

The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of more than 800,000 people, and infected more than 50 million others in the United States.

79-year-old Biden is the oldest man ever elected to the U.S. presidency, and serving. A recent report issued after his routine medical checkup states he is in good health. Biden, a strong advocate of vaccination, has received both doses of Covid vaccine and a booster jab.

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