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Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID-19, delaying start of New York Times defamation trial

Sarah Palin's New York Times defamation trial isn't beginning on Monday after all, as the former Alaska governor has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Jury selection in the trial was scheduled to begin on Monday after Palin sued the newspaper over an editorial. But Judge Jed Rakoff announced Monday morning that Palin had tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN reports. "She is, of course, unvaccinated," the judge said. 

Palin's lawyer said she wanted to be present during jury selection and testify live, according to The New York Times. So after Palin took another COVID-19 test on Monday morning, the judge announced the trial's start would be rescheduled for Feb. 3, The Washington Post reports

The closely-watched trial comes after Palin sued the Times over a 2017 editorial linking an ad by her PAC to the 2011 shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D). The Times quickly issued a correction noting that the original editorial "incorrectly stated that a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting." 

Palin has said she is refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, vowing at a conservative event in September, "It'll be over my dead body that I'll have to get a shot." In September 2021, she claimed "I believe in science and I have not taken the shot," citing the fact that she previously had COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said those who have had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. 

News that Palin had tested positive for COVID-19 came after New York magazine's Shawn McCreesh reported on Saturday that the former governor had been spotted dining at a restaurant on New York City's Upper East Side.