July 21, (THEWILL) – A vaccinated White House official and a senior aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have tested positive for Covid-19, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday.
The two, who tested positive for COVID-19 were fully vaccinated, the official said.
A White House official said in a statement: “Yesterday, a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for COVID-19 off-campus. The staffer is self-isolating according to rigorous COVID-19 protocols.
“The White House Medical Unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined no close contacts among White House principals and staff. The individual has mild symptoms.”
White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki confirmed the statement during a Press Briefing on Tuesday.
“This individual was out of the office when they were tested yesterday, and they’ve stayed out of the office,” Psaki said.
She said there have been other previously undisclosed breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among White House staff but declined to say how many.
None of those who tested positive were in high-level positions, Psaki said.
Psaki declined to say where the staffer may have been exposed to COVID-19.
But Pelosi’s office confirmed that a senior aide to the speaker, D-Calif, tested positive for COVID-19 after meeting with a group of nearly 60 Texas Democrats who came to Washington last week.
“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,” Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, said in a statement.
The Texas Democrats fled the state to deny quorum to Republicans, who are pushing a measure that would enact new voting restrictions.
One Democrat in the group, state Rep. Donna Howard of Austin, said on Tuesday that she has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the sixth member to do so.
“Despite following CDC guidelines and being fully vaccinated, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. The delta variant seems to be much more contagious, even for those vaccinated, than initially thought. Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and feeling well,” Howard said in a statement.
The Texas lawmakers used their time in Washington to lobby for a federal voting rights bill, an effort that included a meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris.
The Vice President’s office said she has since tested negative for COVID-19 and is being monitored.
“We take these precautions incredibly seriously and abide by the health – the guidance of our health and medical experts,” Psaki said on Monday when asked whether the administration is taking any new precautions to protect President Joe Biden’s health after Harris’ meeting with Texas Democrats.
On Capitol Hill, Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician for Congress, released a memo Tuesday warning about the “severe threat” of the delta variant of COVID-19 for unvaccinated people. But he didn’t recommend a return to requiring masks, as several counties nationwide have done.
“I urge unvaccinated individuals to come for vaccination at any time,” he said.
The Biden administration has not disclosed how many White House staffers are vaccinated.