U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken Ends Asia Trip Early After Journalist Tests Positive for COVID-19

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken is ending his Southeast Asia trip early after a journalist traveling with him tested positive for COVID-19, the State Department said on Dec. 15.

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that one of the journalists in the 12-member press corps of Blinken’s delegation tested positive upon their arrival in Malaysia on Dec. 15 morning.

Price added that other members of Blinken’s delegation have not tested positive.

Blinken was originally scheduled to spend Dec. 15 night in Thailand but now will shorten his stay partly due to concerns that others in his delegation may also test positive.

From Thailand, Blinken will travel to Guam for a refueling stop then will head to Hawaii.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said it has informed the Malaysian government of the positive COVID-19 case.

“We can confirm that the person was not involved and has not participated in any of Secretary Blinken’s program in Kuala Lumpur,” the embassy stated.

Blinken held a joint press conference with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on Dec. 15.

The unidentified journalist previously tested negative during a previous stop in Indonesia before heading to Malaysia.

The journalist will remain in isolation.

According to Price, members of Blinken’s delegation have been testing on a daily basis.


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