Journalist on Blinken trip to Asia tests positive for virus

The State Department says a journalist accompanying U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a trip to Britain and Southeast Asia has tested positive for COVID-19.

Spokesman Ned Price said the journalist, one of 12 members of the traveling press corps on Blinken’s trip, tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday in Malaysia. Neither Blinken, any of his senior staff or other members of the press corps have tested positive, according to Price.

Blinken arrived in Kuala Lumpur late Tuesday from Jakarta Indonesia, and still plans to make his final stop in Bangkok, Thailand, later Wednesday. He began his current journey in the English city of Liverpool, where he participated in a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting over the weekend.

The State Department has been testing those on Blinken’s plane for the virus on a daily basis and Price said the journalist had tested negative in both Liverpool and Jakarta.

Attributable to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price:

“We learned this morning, through our routine PCR testing, that a member of our traveling press pool tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur. The individual had last tested negative in Jakarta, our previous stop. The individual who tested positive will remain in isolation, and we will continue to adhere to and go beyond CDC guidance, including with our rigorous testing protocol, for the remaining traveling party.

The Secretary and his senior staff were also tested upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, and all tested negative.”

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