Taoiseach Micheál Martin tested positive for Covid-19 at the White House

The Taoiseach’s meeting with Joe Biden today is expected to be cancelled after Micheál Martin tested positive for Covid-19.

The programme of events in Washington DC will now happen virtually.

All the traveling delegation, including us journalists, were tested for Covid-19 yesterday evening in advance of visiting the White House.

The Taoiseach was negative on that initial antigen test, but a member of his delegation tested positive.

As a precaution Micheál Martin was sent for a PCR test which returned a positive result.

He was whipped away from the Gala Ireland Funds Dinner shortly after the starter was served, having heard US President Joe Biden address the gathering.

Micheál Martin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been sitting next to each other without masks.

Pelosi turns 82 next week.

Officials were scrambling last night to figure out what would happen to the planned schedule of events.

It’s expected the bilateral meeting between Micheál Martin and Joe Biden will now happen online.

The Taoiseach will likely dial in from Blair House, a residence just a few hundred metres from the White House, and the location of Leo Varadkar’s famous speech where he shut the schools two years ago.

Ironically, Micheál Martin may now miss the State Commemoration on Sunday which was meant to mark the symbolic end of the pandemic, because he’s contracted Covid-19.

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