Vice President Harris tests positive for coronavirus

WASHINGTON – Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking Washington official to become infected, raising new concerns about President Biden’s potential exposure as the virus tears through his administration.

The vice president’s office said she tested positive on both rapid tests and PCR tests and will stay away from the White House until she tests negative, instead working from the vice president’s official residence on campus at the Naval Observatory.

“She has shown no symptoms, will isolate herself and continue working from the Vice President’s residence,” said Kirsten Allen, the Vice President’s spokeswoman. “She has not been in close contact with the president or first lady because of their respective recent travel plans.”

Ms. Harris, 57, is the latest in a series of Washington officials who have recently contracted the virus, now inclusive, along with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the two best successors to the presidency. Her infection renews concerns about Mr. Biden, who at 79, is the oldest person ever sworn in as president and in an age group typically considered more vulnerable to the virus. While the Vice President’s office stressed that she had not been in close contact with Mr. Biting lately, her infection strengthens the potential for his exposure, as people who work with him regularly test positive.

The flood of infections in the upper reaches of Washington comes amid the spread of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant known as BA.2, and serves as a reminder that the pandemic continues even when officials seek to turn away from restrictions. Ms. Pelosi and two cabinet members, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, all tested positive this month.

Mr. Garland and Ms. Raimondo was among several officials who tested positive and who had recently attended the Gridiron Club dinner, an affair in which journalists, government officials and lawmakers mingle.

Mrs. Harris was not at the dinner, but her communications director, Jamal Simmons, was and tested positive afterwards.

At the time, Ms. Allen, Ms. Harris’ press secretary, said in a statement that the vice president would continue with his public schedule but follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those who have been in close contact with anyone. infected. The guidelines recommend that you wear a mask for 10 days after exposure and test regularly.

The White House has repeatedly stressed that it maintains stricter measures than the CDC recommends.

Mrs. Harris received his second booster shot on April 1, three days after federal authorities approved a second dose of the vaccine for people over the age of 50. It takes about a week to boost the immune system after a shot.

Doug Emhoff, Mrs Harris’ husband, tested positive for the virus in mid-March. At the time, Mrs. Harris was forced to withdraw from an event with the president, though she continued to test negative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *