Biden’s St. Patrick’s Day blurred by Irish Prime Minister’s COVID case | Health

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s plans to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day were scrambled Thursday after Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin tested positive for COVID-19.

Biden was supposed to welcome Martin for a day of festivities, but those events have been revamped as the Irish leader isolates himself at Blair House across from the White House. The two leaders will hold a virtual bilateral meeting and Martin will participate in the “Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon” at the Capitol which Biden will attend. Biden will go ahead with a White House reception scheduled for Thursday evening, but Martin will not attend.

Martin learned he tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday night while attending an event with Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the White House said the president was not considered a a close contact of Martin – also called an Irish taoiseach.

This year marks the second St. Patrick’s Day of Irish-American Biden in office, but his first with major in-person events after celebrations last year were suspended by the pandemic.

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