Amid something of a wave of such diagnoses to hit the Biden administration in recent days, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, as the New York Post reports.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council revealed that Sullivan is “asymptomatic” and has not had any recent close contact with President Joe Biden.
Though the two would typically meet with great frequency, Sullivan had reportedly been keeping some distance between himself and the president since early last week after the high-ranking adviser learned that a few individuals in his close circle had received positive test results.
Sullivan’s diagnosis comes on the heels of a minor controversy that erupted last week when the White House declined to declare when the president had last received COVID-19 testing results, despite having recently met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who tested positive soon after, as the Washington Examiner noted.
During their interactions at the Summit of the Americas in California, the two leaders were photographed shaking hands and sitting in close proximity to one another on several occasions, leading many to wonder about Biden’s own health status.
When asked to comment on the situation last week, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre downplayed concerns by saying that Biden had not met the definition of a “close contact” of Trudeau’s according to protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“If [Biden] were a close contact as defined by the CDC, we would update his testing cadence accordingly and share that with you transparently,” Jean-Pierre asserted. “His testing cadence has not changed.”
With regard to the regular testing to which Biden submits, Jean-Pierre added, according to Fox News, “It’s a regular cadence. That’s what we do. We will share, per CDC, when he was a close contact, and he has not been a close contact. If he was a close contact, we will let you know.”
Given Biden’s age, recent exposures, and the growing number of infected people with whom he has likely been in recent contact – including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, and now Sullivan – the reluctance of the White House to provide transparency on the president’s testing status is puzzling, to say the least.