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Biden's St. Patrick's Day scrambled by Irish PM's COVID case

Virus Outbreak Taoiseach
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press
The national flag of Ireland flies from Blair House, the official government guest house, across the street from the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 17, 2022. Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin learned he had positive for COVID-19 while attending an event Wednesday evening with U.S. leaders, including President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., according to a senior administration official.

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 host Martin for a day of festivities, but those events have been reimagined as the Irish leader isolates at Blair House across the street from the White House. The two leaders will hold a virtual bilateral meeting and Martin will sit out the annual “Friends of Ireland Luncheon” at the Capitol that Biden will attend. Biden will go ahead with a White House reception planned for Thursday evening, but Martin will not attend.

Martin learned he had tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday evening while attending an event with Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the White House said the president was not considered a close-contact of Martin — also referred to as Ireland’s taoiseach.


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