U.S. Secretary of State Blinken tests positive for Covid, has mild symptoms

Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 27, 2022, to review of the fiscal year 2023 budget request for the US Department of State.

Carolyn Kaster | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday afternoon after beginning to experience symptoms, the State Department said.

Blinken, who is fully vaccinated and boosted against the coronavirus, “is experiencing only mild symptoms,” according to a statement by the State Department.

The top diplomat has not seen President Joe Biden in person for the past several days, and is not considered a close contact to Biden, the statement said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden tested negative for Covid on Tuesday.

Blinken’s diagnosis comes eight days after Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for the coronavirus.

Blinken had met with Sweden’s foreign minister Ann Linde before his positive test Wednesday. And he met Tuesday with Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

“We are in the process and we have notified those individuals with whom he has been in close contact following [federal health agency] guidance,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Swedens Foreign Minister Ann Linde at the State Department in Washington, DC, on May 4, 2022.

Michael Mccoy | AFP | Getty Images

Blinken and his wife Evan Ryan, along with Biden, attended the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington on Saturday night with 2,600 people, among them high-profile journalists, and government officials. Attendees at that dinner were required to be vaccinated or have a negative Covid test.

Blinken and his wife were guests of NBCUniversal, CNBC’s parent company, at the event. An NBC spokesman declined to comment on Blinke’s diagnosis.

Ryan is the White House Cabinet Secretary, acting as the liaison between Biden and the U.S. departments and agencies whose leaders make up the president’s Cabinet.

Blinken “will quarantine at home, he will follow [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines.

“I know he very much looks forward to returning to the office, returning to his full schedule, and returning to the road just as soon as he is able to do so,” said Price, who also attended the White House correspondents’ gala.

Before getting a positive result for Covid through a PCR test, Blinken had been scheduled to speak at the Kuwaiti embassy in Washington for a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees event.

Price said that the State Department has notified people with whom Blinken had been in close contact prior to his positive test.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Wednesday said that Defense Department officials who attended the correspondents’ dinner have not tested positive for Covid.

In addition to Kirby, U.S. Space Force General John Raymond was at the event.

– Additional reporting by Amanda Macias

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.