Sarah Palin, unvaccinated, tests positive for COVID-19, casting doubt on the start of the defamation lawsuit
Sarah Palin tested positive for COVID-19 the same day her libel trial against The New York Times is due to begin, leaving the judge presiding over the case very unimpressed as her trial is delayed for a week.
“She’s obviously not vaccinated,” U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said at the Manhattan Courthouse when announcing her positive test Monday morning.
The 2008 Republican U.S. vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska tested positive in a home test ahead of jury selection. It was then retested this morning.
Jury selection for the trial will not continue until Feb. 3 after Palin’s attorney insisted she wanted to be present for the proceedings instead of appearing on Zoom.
Palin, who previously tested positive for COVID-19 in March 2021, told a Turning Point USA rally in December that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s inconsistent commentary on natural immunity deterred her from getting the shot.
“It will be on my corpse that I will be shot. No. I won’t and they better not touch my kids either,” she said at the time.
After her March diagnosis, she encouraged people to wear masks and take the pandemic seriously.
Palin, 57, accused The Times and her former editorial page editor James Bennet of damaging her reputation in a June 14, 2017 op-ed linking her to a 2011 Arizona mass shooting that killed six people and injured US Representative Gabby Giffords.
Sarah Palin has tested positive for coronavirus as she was due to start a libel lawsuit against the New York Times on Monday
Palin, 57, accused The Times and her former editorial page editor James Bennet (right) of damaging her reputation in a June 14, 2017 op-ed linking her to a mass shooting in Arizona in 2011 which killed six people and injured US Representative Gabby Giffords. . Pictured: Bennett arrives in court on Monday
New York Times editorial board member Elizabeth Williamson arrives at the Manhattan courthouse ahead of jury selection in the libel trial, which may be delayed by Sarah Palin’s positive covid test
The op-ed, titled “America’s Lethal Politics,” was published after a shooting during baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, where U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, a senior Republican from Louisiana, was injured.
He said the “political incitement connection was clear” between the 2011 shooting and a map released by Palin’s political action committee putting 20 Democrats, including Giffords, under “a stylized crosshair.”
The Times quickly corrected the op-ed, saying it incorrectly claimed the political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting were linked, and Bennet said he had no intention of blaming Palin.
But Palin said the disputed material matched Bennet’s “preconceived narrative” and that he was experienced enough to know what his words meant.
The trial is expected to last five days.
In December, Palin told a rally at Turning Point USA in Phoenix that Fauci’s “inconsistent” comments about natural immunity dissuaded her from getting the shot.
“Do you remember him saying if you had Covid you would be naturally immune?” Palin said during an onstage interview with TPUSA co-founder Charlie Kirk.
“So at the time, we were led to believe that we wouldn’t need to get vaccinated.” Well, so they changed their tune. Those of us who have had Covid, they tell us that even though we have had it – we have natural immunity – now that we still have to get vaccinated.
She added: “And it will be my dead body that I will be shot at.” No. I won’t and they better not touch my kids either.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican running mate in 2008 tested positive for COVID-19 in March, as did her family members. After her diagnosis, she encouraged the public to wear masks and take the pandemic seriously
Last year in March, Palin told PEOPLE magazine that she and some family members tested positive for COVID-19, including her 12-year-old son Trig, who has Down syndrome.
Palin and her son “bonded in isolated quarantine,” but “symptoms started overnight with mild fever and muscle aches,” she said.
“As confident as I would like to be in my own health, and despite my joking that I am blessed to constantly breathe the most sterile air, my case is perhaps one of those which proves that n ‘Anyone can catch this,’ the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and TV personality said.
The virus made its way into her home, with her daughter first showing symptoms, Palin said.
‘[O]none of my daughters woke up after losing their sense of taste and smell [and] immediately had a positive COVID test and then quarantined in isolation,” she said.
After initially testing negative, Palin said she developed coronavirus symptoms “overnight” and suffered from fever, muscle aches and loss of taste and smell.
There was no denying that “COVID got to me,” she said.
“That day, I finally tested positive — like millions of other Americans,” she said.
Palin then observed symptoms in her son Trig.