Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID ahead of NY Times defamation trial

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Sarah Palin has tested positive for COVID-19, just as her defamation lawsuit against the New York Times was set to go to trial in Manhattan federal court on Monday.

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U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the trial, announced Palin’s positive test Monday morning, according to multiple news agencies at the court.

“She is, of course, unvaccinated,” Rakoff said while announcing the positive test, which he said he learned about Sunday night.

Palin, the former Alaskan governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee, was set to undergo a second test on Monday morning, according to Reuters.

Whether or not she tests positive again will determine if the trial is delayed.

Palin, who said last month she’d get a COVID-19 vaccine "over my dead body," previously tested positive for the virus in March 2021.

Palin, 57, brought the lawsuit against the Times in 2017. Her case survived an initial dismissal that was reversed on appeal in 2019, setting the stage for a rare instance that a major news organization will have to defend itself before a jury in a libel case involving a major public figure.

Palin claims the Times damaged her reputation with an opinion piece penned by its editorial board that falsely asserted her political rhetoric helped incite the 2011 shooting of then-Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords.

The newspaper has conceded the initial wording of the editorial was flawed, but not in an intentional or reckless way that made it libelous.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.