Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) has tested positive for COVID-19 again, this time ahead of her defamation trial against The New York Times, in which she will state that the newspaper and its editor, James Bennett, defamed her in an opinion piece.
Palin tested positive after a rapid antigen test on Monday and “is of course unvaccinated,” according to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the defamation case in Manhattan, adding that Palin will be retested to determine “whether the trial can proceed the same day or will be delayed.”
Palin has refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine, saying she’ll get one “over my dead body” and pushing falsehoods about “natural immunity” being better protection against the virus than just getting inoculated, claims that have been debunked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We were led to believe that we wouldn’t have to have the shot. Well then they changed their tune and now those of us who have had Covid, they’re telling us that even though we’ve had it and we have natural immunity now that we still have to get a shot,” she told an audience of conservatives during an appearance at a Turning Point USA conference in December, adding: “It will be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot. I will not do it.”
Palin also encouraged the audience to “rise up” and fight back against vaccine mandates.
“You need to all look around and realize as you stiffen your spine and take those positions and we know our rights, especially when it comes to the government telling us what we have to inject in our own bodies, realize that those around you—as you stiffen your spine—their spines too will stiffen,” she said at the time.
This is the second time Palin has had COVID-19. She and her family tested positive for the virus last spring, urging people to continue social distancing and wearing face masks.
“I strongly encourage everyone to use common sense to avoid spreading this and every other virus out there,” Palin said in a statement to People magazine at the time. “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 reprioritizing 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 armor to fight it.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.