No reason was given for Garcetti's D.C. trip after he previously announced plans to return to Los Angeles Sunday. But on Monday, President Joe Biden is scheduled to sign the $1 trillion infrastructure bill approved by Congress this month and is expected to be joined by several governors, mayors, and labor and business leaders.
Following the bill's approval, Garcetti hailed it as providing a golden opportunity for major improvements in Los Angeles.
"Investments in public transportation, bridges, clean energy and water systems, and broadband are the building blocks of a prosperous future for Los Angeles," he said. "We're already investing billions of dollars in infrastructure locally, and these funds are a chance to double down on that work to protect public health, fortify the foundation of our City, and open new doors of opportunity across our region."
It has not been confirmed whether Garcetti will be among those attending Monday's signing, and a White House spokesman told the Los Angeles Times the invite list had not been finalized as of Friday.
In July, Biden nominated Garcetti to be the U.S. ambassador to India, but the Senate still has not scheduled confirmation hearings on the nomination.
Garcetti, who is fully vaccinated, received a positive result from a COVID-19 PCR test on Nov. 3 while he was in Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. He developed mild symptoms the following day.
In an email to his staff, Garcetti said he developed a fever and had symptoms of a head cold, the Times reported.
"As some of you who have gotten COVID know, this is a beast of a virus, but I am feeling pretty good - just some fever and head cold symptoms for now, probably a reflection of the strength of the vaccine I got earlier this year," the mayor wrote.
In accordance with the UN's guidelines for the conference, Garcetti conducted self-administered nasal swab tests frequently throughout the trip, which began on Nov. 1, and tested negative, including receiving negative results twice on Nov. 3.
On Nov. 2, the mayor and his staff took PCR tests as they prepared to return to the United States, and Garcetti's positive test result was received on Nov. 3.
The city charter assigns the City Council president, currently Nury Martinez, to serve as acting mayor when Garcetti is out of California.