Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, known as the Taoiseach, tested positive for Covid-19 Wednesday while attending a gala in Washington, DC, that had just been addressed by President Joe Biden.
Martin left the gathering for The Ireland Funds after his positive result was confirmed, according to PA Media, a UK-based news agency. Irish Ambassador to the US Daniel Mulhall announced the results to the room, a person who attended the dinner told CNN.
A White House official said Biden is not considered a close contact of Martin. The pair was set to hold a bilateral meeting at the White House on Thursday, but the official said the schedule will be changed.
CNN has reached out to Martin’s office and the Irish Embassy in Washington for comment.
In a photo posted online by the Press Association, Martin is seen sitting next to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the event. CNN reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.
Biden spent less than an hour at the gala and was not seen by a CNN producer in attendance in close proximity to the Taoiseach.
Biden gave his 15-minute remarks from a lectern slightly away from the guests seated in the hall and left shortly after for the White House.
Martin became the Taoiseach in June 2020. The Irish leader typically has a standing invitation to the White House on St. Patrick’s Day, which is Thursday. Last year, Biden and Martin met virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As he opened his remarks Wednesday, Biden referenced a meeting between him and Martin when Biden was the US vice president and Martin was the Irish foreign minister.
“We both have come full circle – you’re Taoiseach and I’m President. What the hell are we going to do?” Biden said.