- The Washington Times - Friday, April 29, 2022

The White House communications director, Kate Bedingfield, said Friday she tested positive for COVID-19 and met with President Biden as recently as Wednesday.

Ms. Bedingfield said she is not in close contact with the 79-year-old president as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I last saw the President Wednesday in a socially-distanced meeting while wearing an N-95 mask, and he is not considered a close contact as defined by the CDC,” she tweeted.

The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

The White House has relied on that definition to reassure the public amid a series of close calls for Mr. Biden.

Vice President Kamala Harris is in isolation after testing positive at the beginning of the week.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Cabinet officials and visiting dignitaries have also tested positive after floating in the president’s orbit.

Mr. Biden has received four shots of a COVID-19 vaccine, but his advanced age makes some public health experts skittish about his potential exposure to the virus as he tries to move the country out of the pandemic phase of the virus and into a sense of normalcy.

The president plans to attend a portion of the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington late Saturday.

Ms. Bedingfield said she is vaccinated and boosted and only has minor symptoms.

“In alignment with White House COVID-19 protocols, I will work from home and plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of a five-day isolation period and a negative test,” she wrote on Twitter.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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