Washington – Vice President Kamala Harris was tested positive for COVID-19, her office announced Tuesday.
Harris, 57, received positive rapid and PCR tests but shows no symptoms, according to her press secretary Kirsten Allen. She will isolate and work from the Vice President’s residence. Allen added that Harris takes Pfizer’s antiviral pills, which can reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill, as directed by her doctors.
Harris has not been in close contact with either President Biden or First Lady Dr. Jill Biden because of their recent travel plans, the statement said, and will return to the White House when she tests negative. She has been vaccinated and has received two booster shots.
“Today I was tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms and I will continue to isolate and follow the CDC guidelines. I am grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Harris tweeted.
Sir. Biden and Harris spoke by phone Tuesday afternoon, and the president “wanted to check in and make sure she has everything she needs while quarantining at home,” according to the White House.
The Vice President’s positive diagnosis comes more than a month after her husband, Second Lord Doug Emhoff,for COVID-19.
Several other members of the White House staff, including Harris’s communications director Jamal Simmons and Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa, also received positive tests earlier this month, as did.including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Justice Minister Merrick Garland and Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The Vice President was to meet with Mr. Bitten in the oval office Tuesday morning to receive a daily intelligence briefing even though she did not attend the meeting, her spokeswoman said.
A White House official told CBS News that Harris went to the White House Tuesday morning and was tested for coronavirus at her West Wing office as part of her regular routine. Harris then left the White House in his procession after receiving a positive test.
She last saw the president on April 18, the day of it, after which she traveled to California, where she spent the week attending events. Harris returned to Washington on Monday from Los Angeles.
In addition to being the first in the presidential order, Harris also plays a crucial role in the 50-50 Senate, where he casts draws.
“I think if you take a step back and look at the vice president, she gets boosted, especially twice,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, coronavirus coordinator at the White House, told reporters Tuesday. “We have a very, very contagious variant out there. It’s going to be hard to make sure no one gets COVID in America. It’s not even a political goal.”
While the nation experienced a steep decline in new coronavirus infections after a peak in mid-January driven by the highly contagious Omicron, there has been a slight increase in cases over the last few weeks due to the emergence of the new BA.2 underline of Omicron variant.
As part of its efforts to protect Americans from the virus andannounced the White House on Tuesday by Paxlovid. First approved by the Food and Drug Administration in December, the pills were in short supply, but the delivery of the antiviral drug has since been accelerated.
The White House is also launching several “test-to-treat” sites where Americans can be tested and, if they are found to have coronavirus, receive free oral antiviral pills in one visit.
Weijia Jiang and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.