Journalist on US Secretary Blinken trip to Asia tests positive for COVID-19

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The State Department says a journalist accompanying US 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.

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In a statement posted online, the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur said it informed the Malaysian government of the coronavirus case and thanked the Malaysian authorities for their support.

“The sole member of the traveling party who tested positive is observing all requirements of the Ministry of Health,” the embassy said. “We can confirm that the person was not involved and has not participated in any of Secretary Blinken’s program in Kuala Lumpur.”

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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 coronavirus on a daily basis and Price said the journalist had tested negative in both Liverpool and Jakarta.

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