Nancy Pelosi tests positive for Covid-19, postpones Asia trip

The announcement followed a warning from China that it would take strict measures if the trip included a visit to Taiwan, media reports in the region had claimed.

Pelosi’s assistant communications director, Drew Hammill, said in a tweet Thursday that the planned congressional delegation to Asia, to be led by Pelosi during the two-week congressional recess, “is being postponed to a later date.”

“After testing negative this week, Speaker Pelosi received a positive test result for Covid-19 and is currently asymptomatic. Fully vaccinated and refreshed, the speaker is grateful for the robust protection the vaccine provides. The speaker is being quarantined in accordance with CDC guidance and encourages everyone to get vaccinated, boosted and tested regularly,” Hammill tweeted.

Reports by some Japanese and Taiwanese media that Pelosi was planning to visit Taiwan after a stopover in Japan this weekend – although this has not been confirmed by Pelosi’s office or the Taiwanese government – had earlier prompted a warning from Beijing that such a visit would harm China and the US would severely affect relations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Thursday that China “strongly opposes all forms of official contact between the US and Taiwan” and urged Washington to “immediately cancel Speaker Pelosis’ plan to visit Taiwan.”

“If the US insists on going its own way, China will take decisive and strong action to resolutely uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Any possible consequences that may arise from this will be borne entirely by the US side,” he added, without giving details.

The Chinese Communist Party has long claimed democratically-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory and has repeatedly vowed to “reunite” with the island of 24 million people — by force if necessary — though it has never ruled it. Washington officially recognizes Beijing instead of Taipei, but undertakes to provide Taiwan with means of self-defense.

Pelosi’s positive test result comes after a spate of positive tests among lawmakers on Capitol Hill this week.

She was seen at the White House on Wednesday alongside President Joe Biden as he signed legislation. The GP told CNN that participating members had to have a negative test within 24 hours of the event.

Pelosi, the top House Democrat, is 82 years old. As Speaker of the House of Representatives, she is second only to the Vice President in the presidential succession.

Biden, 79, tested negative Wednesday night, the White House said.

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