Irish leader tests positive for COVID-19 during US visit

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By AP
Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU Summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021.
Ireland's Prime Minister Micheal Martin speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU Summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021.   -  Copyright  Kenzo Tribouillard, Pool Photo via AP

Ireland's Taoiseach Micheál Martin learned he had tested positive for COVID-19 while attending an event with US leaders including Joe Biden, a US official told the Associated Press news agency.

Martin was attending the Ireland Funds 30th National Gala at the National Building Museum in Washington when he tested positive.

It came ahead of planned St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with US leaders.

The official was not authorised to talk about Martin's condition and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Biden, who spoke briefly at the event, was not deemed a close contact of Martin, White House spokesman Chris Meagher said.

The COVID-19 close call came a day after US second gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for the virus.

It was not immediately clear how Martin's diagnosis would affect the scheduled St. Patrick’s Day events at the White House.