Ashley Biden and Xavier Becerra Test Positive for the Coronavirus

Xavier Becerra, the US secretary of health and human services, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, his department said, hours after the White House announced that Ashley Biden, the daughter of President Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, had tested positive .

Neither is considered a close contact to Mr. Biden, according to the administration. A close contact is someone who has been less than six feet away from an infected person for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

Ms. Biden, 40, was scheduled to travel with Dr. Biden to Ecuador on Wednesday afternoon but will no longer make the trip with her mother. Earlier this month, Ms. Biden was to accompany Dr. Biden on her trip to Eastern Europe to visit Ukrainian refugees, but on the night of the trip, the White House said that Ms. Biden had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus and would stay behind.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Wednesday that Mr. Biden had not seen his daughter in “several days.”

Mr. Becerra tested positive for the virus Wednesday morning in Berlin, where he was to participate in meetings for Group of 7 health ministers, Sarah Lovenheim, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

Mr. Becerra is fully vaccinated and boosted and is experiencing mild symptoms, the statement said. He will continue to work in isolation.

Mr. Becerra was last at the White House on Thursday and is not considered a close contact to Mr. Biden, according to Ms. Lovenheim. The White House requires masks and social distancing when officials meet with the president.

Ms. Biden and Mr. Becerra are among a handful of prominent people in the president’s orbit who have recently tested positive for the coronavirus, renewing concern about Mr. Biden’s potential exposure, though none have been considered close contacts. Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy adviser, tested positive last week.

Leave a Comment