Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID-19 after 'over my dead body' vaccine claim

Last month, the US passed 800,000 Covid deaths. In December, Ms Palin told a conservative crowd in Arizona: “It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot. I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either.”

But now, Ms Palin has tested positive for the second time – after first catching the virus in March.

Her positive test was announced by US District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan as the former Alaska governor had been set to begin a defamation trial against the New York Times.

The judge said Ms Palin was “of course, unvaccinated”.

Ms Palin is to be retested on Monday morning, to determine whether jury selection can begin later that day or the trial should be adjourned, likely until February 3.

Judge Rakoff said the positive result came from an at-home test.

Ms Palin, 57, has accused the Times and its former editorial page editor James Bennet of damaging her reputation in a June 14, 2017.

A trial is expected to last five days.

In March last year, the former Alaska governor urged others to continue to take the pandemic seriously.

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Ms Palin said: “I strongly encourage everyone to use common sense to avoid spreading this and every other virus out there.

“There are more viruses than there are stars in the sky, meaning we’ll never avoid every source of illness or danger.

“But please be vigilant, don’t be frightened, and I advise reprioritising some personal time and resources to ensure as healthy a lifestyle as you can create so when viruses do hit, you have at least some armour to fight it.”