Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid
“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on rapid and PCR tests. She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the vice president’s residence,” said Kirsten Allen, the vice president’s press secretary, in a statement.
Allen added, “She has not been a close contact to the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules. She will follow CDC guidelines and the advice of her physicians. The Vice President will return to the White House when she tests negative.”
Harris had been scheduled to receive her intelligence briefing at 10:15 am ET Tuesday at the White House alongside President Joe Biden, according to daily guidance sent to reporters Monday evening. She did not participate in any events or meetings at the White House on Tuesday, according to a White House official.
Harris arrived at the White House Tuesday morning, a White House official told CNN, and went straight to take a test. After testing positive on both PCR and rapid tests, she returned home to her residence at the Naval Observatory, where she will be isolating.
While in California last week, she held events on portfolio issues. In San Francisco on Thursday, Harris highlighted the Black maternal health crisis during events and was indoors talking to expecting mothers and health providers without a mask on. Masks are recommended, but no longer required, in most public indoor spaces in the city.
Harris held no public events over the weekend before returning to the nation’s capital.
One official said Harris tested negative through her “regular” testing up until Tuesday. CNN has asked when the vice president last tested negative.
The vice president’s positive Covid-19 test comes as the US has largely lifted most of its Covid-19 mitigation measures after the Omicron variant spike over the winter.
In accordance with federal public health guidelines, officials and visitors have not been required to wear masks or socially distance at large White House events. Covid cases in Washington have declined since their peak in early January, when the country was facing a wave of Omicron variant cases, but have been rising recently.
Though the White House has continued to hold crowded indoor events where masks are optional and officials have forgone masks in public, the administration has said they are going beyond federal guidelines to detect Covid-19 in the building. There’s mandatory testing for those who come into contact with Biden and social distancing during meetings, at least when it’s possible.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in early April that the White House was not considering returning to pandemic-era restrictions.
“We are continuing to implement the return-to-work policy and feel we have the measures necessary to do that,” she said at the time.
Officials have acknowledged that it’s “possible” Biden will eventually contract the virus as Covid-19 has also been making the rounds among White House staff and among the Washington elite recently.
And on Tuesday, Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Ron Wyden of Oregon both announced they had tested positive as well.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.
CNN’s MJ Lee and Sarah Fortinsky contributed to this report.
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Published for: Ipodifier