- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The first couple’s daughter, Ashley Biden, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, forcing her to cancel plans to join first lady Jill Biden on a trip to South America.

She is not considered a close contact of the first lady or President Biden as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to East Wing spokesman Michael LaRosa.

Ms. Biden, a 40-year-old social worker by trade, was set to join her mother on an official visit to Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica ahead of the U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June.

The first lady is scheduled to leave for Quito, Ecuador, later Wednesday.

“During her trip, the first lady will emphasize the importance of the U.S. partnership with these three nations as well as their commitment to democracy,” Mrs. Biden’s office said.

Ms. Biden is the latest person in Mr. Biden’s orbit to catch COVID-19.

Vice President Kamala Harris, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Cabinet officials, senior aides and visiting dignitaries have all tested positive in recent weeks and months.

Each time, the White House assured the public that the 79-year-old president was not a close contact, which is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

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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