Ashley Biden, US President’s daughter, tests positive for coronavirus

An April 2022 photo shows US President Joe Biden (centre) with his daughter Ashley (left). PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - Ashley Biden, the daughter of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, tested positive for coronavirus and will no longer travel with the First Lady to Latin America this week, the White House announced on Wednesday (May 18).

Ashley Biden, 40, was scheduled to travel with Jill Biden to Ecuador on Wednesday afternoon. Jill Biden is also scheduled to visit Panama and Costa Rica before returning to Washington on Monday.

Ashley Biden was not considered a close contact to the first couple, said Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for the First Lady.

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

A close contact is someone who has been less than 6 feet (1.8m) away from an infected person for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.

Ashley Biden is among a handful of prominent people in the President’s orbit who have recently tested positive for coronavirus, renewing concern about Joe Biden’s potential exposure, although none have been considered close contacts.

Susan Rice, the White House domestic policy adviser, tested positive last week.

This is the second planned trip with the First Lady that Ashley Biden will miss in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Ashley Biden was to accompany Jill Biden on her trip to Eastern Europe to visit Ukrainian refugees, but on the night of the trip, the White House said that Ashley Biden had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

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