US State Department spokesman Ned Price is going into quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus. Foggy Bottom says there’s no danger to diplomats he met with at the UN General Assembly session, masked and vaccinated.
“After experiencing symptoms for the first time this morning, I tested positive for [Covid]-19 shortly thereafter, and will now quarantine for the next 10 days,” Price tweeted on Monday afternoon.
“I’m feeling under the weather but am grateful for the protection from severe illness offered by safe and effective vaccines,” he added.
After experiencing symptoms for the first time this morning, I tested positive for COVID-19 shortly thereafter, & will now quarantine for the next 10 days. I’m feeling under the weather but am grateful for the protection from severe illness offered by safe and effective vaccines.
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) September 27, 2021
Price, 38, accompanied Secretary of State Antony Blinken to many of his meetings last week, during the UN General Assembly session in New York. However, the State Department did not alert any of the foreign delegations because those meetings all ended by Thursday and all the participants were masked indoors, according to CNN.
Deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter told reporters that Price “hasn’t been in contact with any foreign delegations since Thursday,” and after consultations with the State Department’s medical unit, “we believe the risk of exposure would have actually started on Saturday.” At that time, Price wasn’t around Blinken, or any other State Department of foreign officials, she added.
During the routine Covid-19 testing on Monday morning, Blinken came up negative, Porter noted.
Getting his booster shot in a televised event on Monday, President Joe Biden once again insisted the US was seeing a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and urged everyone to get their shots because they are safe and effective.
Price is a former CIA official who served in the Obama administration as a spokesman for the National Security Council, resigning from the agency in 2017 rather than serve under President Donald Trump.
He is the most high-profile official in the Biden administration to get a “breakthrough” case of Covid-19 so far. While the White House initially promised to disclose all such cases, they changed the policy in July after a staffer was infected by a group of Democrat lawmakers from Texas, saying it would only identify people who were in close contact with Biden.