With a Flurry of High-Profile Coronavirus Cases, Washington Is Again on Edge

On Thursday, the speaker’s office said she had a negative P.C.R. test result and that she would continue to test regularly and adhere to any guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but it was unclear which ones. Mr. Martin’s 81-year-old friend, Nancy Pelosi, was also not clear on whether the Office of the Attending Physician considered her a close contact.

At her weekly press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi revealed that she is tested nearly every day. She claims that Mr. Martin remained masked until the meal was served and that he was approached about his positive test during the appetiser course.

Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Enda Kenny announced that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at an indoor news conference on St. Patrick’s Day.

Martin was unable to attend the Friends of Ireland Luncheon on Capitol Hill on Thursday, so it went ahead as scheduled. Ms. Pelosi introduced Mr. Biden, who sat on a stool just a few feet away, to the room of lawmakers seated at round tables. As far as I could tell, no one in the room was wearing a mask.

Before they shook hands and Joe Biden took the lectern, Nancy Pelosi said, “America has been blessed by Irish children, and one of those Irish children is now the president of the United States.” In the end, he left before lunch was served.

St. Patrick’s Day is a time when Irish diplomats and political leaders present the American president with a bowl of shamrocks in the White House. The tradition is seen as a symbol of the strong ties between Ireland and the United States.

A visit to the Oval Office may never happen for Mr. Martin because of this: As part of a coalition agreement with two other political parties, he is expected to hand over the prime ministership before March of next year. His first scheduled visit last year was cancelled due to the pandemic.

On Wednesday, the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, tweeted that she had been diagnosed with the coronavirus and would not accompany Martin on his trip to Washington.

Alyssa Lukpat and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting from New York City and Washington, D.C.