Washington — Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon, the State Department announced.
Blinken, who is fully vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus, is experiencing mild symptoms, according to Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson. While he tested negative Tuesday and again Wednesday morning, Blinken received a positive PCR test in the afternoon.
Price said the secretary of state has not seen President Biden “in person for several days,” and the president is not considered a close contact under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Mr. Biden tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. Blinken will isolate at home and conduct his work virtually.
“He looks forward to returning to the department and resuming his full duties and travels as soon as possible,” Price said in a statement. “Secretary Blinken is grateful to the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who provide the State Department workforce with exemplary health services around the world and encourages all Americans who are eligible to get fully vaccinated and boosted in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from developing severe COVID-19 disease.”
Blinken is the latest in a growing list of top officials across Washington who have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent months, joining Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
Blinken attended the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday and related events over the weekend, and several other attendees have since said they had tested positive. Proof of vaccination and a same-day negative test were required to attend the dinner itself, but other festivities throughout the weekend had no such requirements.
The secretary was also on Capitol Hill last week testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the State Department’s 2023 budget request.