President Joe Biden on Thursday said he spoke with the Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin in person for a few minutes at a gala for Ireland – Martin later revealed that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

This was first revealed innocuously when the two world leaders spoke on a remote call Thursday that was supposed to be an in-person White House visit but was changed due to positive tests from Martin’s team. Biden said, “I did, at a little distance, for seven and a half minutes get to see you yesterday.”

Martin was going to participate in the White House’s annual Shamrock presentation for St. Patrick’s Day. Biden was still staying festive sporting a green tie during the Zoom call. Martin joked about how they spoke online last year and, “This year we’re meeting virtually across the road. So, we’re getting closer.”

Biden is lucky that he is vaccinated, and his exposure time isn’t within what some health experts consider “close contact,” which is around 15 minutes. It’s still alarming to hear, though. Reportedly, when Biden revealed the PM’s positive test at the St. Patrick’s Day Speaker’s Lunch, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she sat with Martin at dinner Wednesday night as well. The President mentioned that Martin “feels well,” despite testing positive for the virus.

While there was a celebratory backdrop to Biden and Martin’s call, they used the majority of their public remarks to speak more about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “And we have to be united, and we certainly are. And Putin’s brutality and what’s he’s doing and his troops are doing in Ukraine is inhumane,” Biden said. The closed-door portion of their meeting reportedly concerned further sanctions against Russia and developing their humanitarian responses.

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