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Palin's NYT defamation trial delayed after former VP nominee tests positive for COVID-19

The former GOP governor tested positive Monday morning

Published: January 24, 2022 1:28pm

Updated: January 24, 2022 1:56pm

The trial in which the New York Times is defending itself against libel charges from former Alaska governor and one-time vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was delayed Monday after Palin tested positive for COVID-19.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the defamation case, said the Manhattan trial will be rescheduled to Feb. 3, if Palin has recovered from her diagnosis by that time. 

Rakoff announce Monday that he was informed of a positive rapid test taken by Palin, adding that "she is, of course, unvaccinated." 

"Since she has tested positive three times, I’m going to assume she’s positive," Rakoff said. Palin previously contracted the virus in March 2021. 

Palin's attorneys noted to the judge that their client wants to be at the court in person for both jury selection and "live" testimony.

Palin sued the so-called paper of record in 2017, citing an editorial it ran about gun control, which was published after a gunman shot at several GOP members of Congress who were practicing for a baseball game, severely wounding Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise. 

The editorial argued that political rhetoric brought about by a map of vulnerable electoral districts circulated by Palin's political action committee contributed to the 2011 shooting of then-Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabby Giffords

Several days later, the Times corrected the editorial, saying it had incorrectly stated a link existed between political rhetoric and the 2011 shooting.

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