Antony Blinken’s Southeast Asia Trip Halted Due to COVID Case in Traveling Party

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Published on December 15, 2021 - Duration: 01:31s

Antony Blinken’s Southeast Asia Trip Halted Due to COVID Case in Traveling Party

Antony Blinken’s Southeast Asia Trip Halted , Due to COVID Case, in Traveling Party.

NBC News reports that on Dec.

15, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to cut his Southeast Asia trip short due to a COVID-19 case in his traveling party.

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The announcement brings the trip, intended to boost ties with a region where China has increased its influence, to an abrupt halt.

Blinken was scheduled to hold meetings in Thailand on Dec.

16 before returning to Washington.

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State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the decision was made after a positive case was reported among the traveling press corps.

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While Blinken and senior officials tested negative in Kuala Lumpur on Dec.

15, the Secretary of State called his Thai counterpart to express regret over the cancellation.

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He explained that in order to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and to prioritize the health and safety of the U.S. traveling party and those they would otherwise come into contact with, the secretary would be returning to Washington, D.C., out of an abundance of caution, Ned Price, State Department spokesperson, via NBC News.

He explained that in order to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and to prioritize the health and safety of the U.S. traveling party and those they would otherwise come into contact with, the secretary would be returning to Washington, D.C., out of an abundance of caution, Ned Price, State Department spokesperson, via NBC News.

According to NBC News, the United States has been trying to solidify ties with the region as China pushes for deeper trade, integration and major infrastructure projects.

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On Dec.

14, while speaking at a university in Indonesia, Blinken outlined a strategy for boosting economic ties and improving defense and diplomacy.

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On Dec.

15, Blinken and Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah participated in a joint news conference.

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Malaysia's foreign ministry said that the individual who tested positive was immediately put into quarantine.

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The person was not involved and has not participated in any of Secretary Blinken's programs in Kuala Lumpur, Spokesperson for Malaysia's Foreign Ministry, via NBC News


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