Unvaccinated former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin tested positive for Covid, a federal judge told a courtroom before he postponed the scheduled start Monday of a defamation trial involving the one-time Alaska governor and The New York Times that was set to begin.
Palin’s civil suit against the Times now will be heard by a jury in Manhattan federal court on Feb. 3 as a result of her Covid-19 status.
The Times reported later Monday that Palin dined indoors on Saturday night at Elio’s, an Italian restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side that, like all New York City restaurants, is required under city regulations to confirm guests are vaccinated for Covid.
The newspaper quoted Elio’s manager as saying “we just made a mistake,” and that the restaurant checks vaccination cards only for first-time guests, and not for longtime guests, one of whom Palin was eating with.
A City Hall spokesman said, “The Key to NYC rules were put in place to protect all New Yorkers – including the small businesses that power our city’s economy.”
“Ms. Palin needs to respect small business workers and follow the rules just like everyone else,” the spokesman said.
Last month, Palin said that she will get a Covid-19 vaccine “over my dead body.”
Judge Jed Rakoff announced in court Monday that he learned Sunday evening that the 57-year-old Palin was again positive for the virus.
“She is of course unvaccinated,” Rakoff said.
After a second test confirmed Palin was positive for Covid, Rakoff postponed the trial start date to February.
Palin sued the Times and its former editorial page editor for allegedly damaging her reputation with a 2017 editorial that suggested an image produced by Palin’s political action committee incited the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona.
Palin was not well known to the American public when GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain picked her to be his running mate in 2008.
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