Ashley Biden positive for COVID-19, skips Latin America trip
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ashley Biden, the daughter of President Joe Biden and Jill Biden, has COVID-19 and is no longer accompanying her mother on a trip through Latin America, the White House said Wednesday.
She is not considered a close contact to either of her parents, said Michael LaRosa, the first lady’s spokesperson. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it had been “several days” since the president and first lady last saw their daughter.
Ashley Biden’s positive test result was announced just before Jill Biden’s flight Wednesday to Ecuador, the first stop on her six-day Latin America trip. The first lady also planned to visit Panama and Costa Rica before returning to Washington next week.
It’s the second time that the coronavirus has caused Ashley Biden, 40, to miss out on traveling abroad with her mother.
Earlier in May, she was bumped from the first lady’s trip to Eastern Europe to visit with Ukrainian refugees after learning that she had been a close contact of someone who later tested positive for COVID-19. Ashley Biden had tested negative after that exposure, LaRosa said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “close contact” with an infected person as spending 15 minutes or more with them over a 24-hour period. The CDC says people with “close contact” do not need to quarantine if they are up to date on their vaccines but should wear well-fitting masks around other people for 10 days after the contact.