How COVID-19 upended Blinken's diplomatic mission

Indonesia United States
Posted at 5:59 PM, Dec 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-18 20:59:53-05

HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) — The global surge in coronavirus infections wreaked havoc with Secretary of State Antony Blinken's round-the-world diplomatic journey last week.

At least three people on board his military plane tested positive for COVID-19 during the trip, which started in Liverpool, England, and ended abruptly after stops in Dubai, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur.

The positive cases forced a frantic re-evaluation of Blinken's itinerary, which was cut short and re-routed through Guam to return to U.S. territory as soon as possible to avoid mandatory quarantines for others who might have been infected.

The Air Force confirmed Saturday that two members of the crew on Blinken's plane had tested positive.

The other was a journalist who was part of the traveling press corps.