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Sarah Palin Tests Positive for COVID — Again — as NYT Defamation Trial Was Set to Begin

·3-min read
Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

Pete Marovich/Getty Images Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin's defamation case against The New York Times was pushed back on Monday as a federal judge in New York announced that he had learned on Sunday evening that the former Alaska governor tested positive for COVID-19 — again.

"She is, of course, unvaccinated," Judge Jed Rakoff told the court Monday morning, CNN and Reuters reported. (A spokesman for Palin did not respond to a request for comment.)

"Since she has apparently tested positive three times, I'm going to assume that she's positive," Rakoff said in court.

Per Reuters, Palin had said she wanted to attend the trial.

This would be the second COVID diagnosis for 57-year-old Palin, who in March revealed she had "bizarre" symptoms after previously contracting the virus, including a loss of taste and smell.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee-turned-TV personality said in a statement to PEOPLE then that "as confident as I'd like to be about my own health, and despite my joking that I'm blessed to constantly breathe in the most sterile (frozen!) air, my case is perhaps one of those that proves anyone can catch this."

She continued: "I would 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 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."

Getting vaccinated, however, was a bridge too far for Palin, who last month told a crowd that she would get a shot "over my dead body."

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

D Dipasupil/Getty Sarah Palin

"It'll be over my dead body that I'll have to get a shot," Palin said, while addressing a conservative crowd at AmericaFest 2021 in Phoenix. "I will not do that. I won't do it, and they better not touch my kids either."

The news of a positive diagnosis Palin — who is a mom to five children with ex-husband Todd — delayed her trial against the Times for defamation, which was set to begin Monday.

Jury selection was instead moved to Feb. 3, CNN reports.

Palin sued the Times and its former editorial page editor for allegedly damaging her reputation with a 2017 editorial that linked the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords to a map circulated by Palin's political action group that showed certain electoral districts under crosshairs.

The Times corrected the error and apologized for it: "An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established," the paper said.

A judge initially dismissed the case. But a federal appeals court revived it and, as a result, a trial will now take place.

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