COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the country, with health officials becoming increasingly worried about the Delta variant. It’s significantly more infectious than the original strain, and poses an acute threat to the unvaccinated.
A White House official and a staff member for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have both tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the same reception last week, officials confirmed to the website Axios.
The Pelosi staffer helped usher a delegation of Democratic Texas lawmakers around the Capitol last week. Six of those lawmakers, who flew to Washington to block the Texas legislature from changing the state’s voting laws, have since tested positive. Both that staffer and the White House official were at the same rooftop reception at the Hotel Eaton last Wednesday night.
The White House official has not had any recent direct contact with President Biden. The Pelosi aide did not have any contact with the Speaker since that person’s exposure.
Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to Speaker Pelosi, told Axios in a statement: “Yesterday, a fully-vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week. The entire press office is working remotely today with the exception of individuals who have had no exposure to the individual or have had a recent negative test. Our office will continue to follow the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician closely.”
Ol' Charlie Darwin is busy workin' nights and weekends these days.https://t.co/niL5qcG0sX
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) July 20, 2021
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the official tested positive on Tuesday during a press briefing. She added that the person will remain off campus as they wait for a confirmatory PCR test.