Harris positive for COVID-19 and Biden not ‘close contact’ 2022-04-26 20:26:01


Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the White House announced, underlining the persistence of the highly contagious virus even as the United States eases restrictions in an effort to return to normal life that prevailed before the pandemic.

Harris’ press secretary, Kirsten Allen, said neither President Joe Biden nor First Lady Jill Biden have been considered “in close contact” with Harris in recent days. The White House said Harris was scheduled to attend Biden’s daily presidential briefing on Tuesday morning but was not present. Because of their travel schedules, the last time Harris saw Biden was on Monday, April 18.

On Monday, the vice president returned from a week-long trip to the West Coast.

The White House said Harris tested positive in both the rapid and PCR tests but “has not shown any symptoms.” She will be isolated at her home but will continue to work remotely, and will only return to the White House when she tests negative for the virus.

Harris, 57, received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine weeks before taking office and a second dose just days after opening day in 2021. She received a booster dose in late October and an additional booster dose on April 1. Augmented subjects have a high degree of protection against serious illness and death from COVID-19, particularly from the more common and more transmissible omicron variant.

Harris’ diagnosis comes a month after her husband, Doug Imhoff, recovered from the virus, as a wave of cases of the transmissible omicron variant spread to Washington’s political class, infecting cabinet members, White House staff and lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. .

Allen said Harris will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines and “her doctors’ advice.” It was not immediately clear if she was prescribed any antiviral treatments.

After more than two years and nearly one million deaths in the United States, the virus is still killing more than 300 people a day in the United States, according to the CDC. Unvaccinated people are at a much higher risk, more than three times more likely to test positive and 20 times more likely to die from the virus than those who received at least an initial dose of vaccines, according to the Public Health Agency.