Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid

Harris spent much of the past week in California and returned to Washington Monday night from Los Angeles. She was due to receive the President’s daily briefing from the Oval Office before she tested positive.

The last time the Vice President saw Biden in person was on April 18, according to Harris’ office.

Scores of officials have contracted the virus over the past month, a spread that appeared at least partially linked to a handful of events including the annual Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, D.C. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Attorney General Merrick Garland announced positive tests, but only a few days after dinner.

Harris’ positive test comes as the White House tries to manage crises on multiple fronts. It also comes as the White House has tried to project a new phase in the fight against the pandemic, in which the country would learn to largely live with and manage the virus. The White House has continued to aggressively urge that Americans either get vaccinated or get their booster shots.

While the White House says Harris has not been a close contact, her positive case adds to concerns the virus is closing in on the president. The 79-year-old president received a booster dose of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech in September and a follow-up booster in late March. Although he has been suffering from various health ailments recently, his doctor said declared him fit for service after a physical last fall. Still, the White House has consistently fought against outside concerns and comments about Biden’s age and health.

While his vaccination status greatly reduces the president’s risk of contracting a serious illness, the protection is not bulletproof. Older adults are still at higher risk of contracting severe Covid.

The White House has had a bad run with Covid. In late March, press secretary Jen Psaki was infected for the second time, and her deputy Karine Jean-Pierre tested positive soon after. Harris’ husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, also had the virus in mid-March.

A White House official confirmed that other staff members have also been infected and that these infections were expected as the more transmissible subvariant of Omicron, BA.2, becomes the dominant strain in the US, sparking a new wave of cases.

The official said the Biden administration doesn’t think a new wave would disrupt operations, in part because White House staff are almost universally vaccinated and symptoms have so far been mild for those who have tested positive.

Psaki has repeatedly stressed that the strict White House protocols go beyond CDC guidelines to keep principals safe, noting that anyone who meets or travels with the president and vice president is tested beforehand .

Biden and first lady Jill Biden will attend the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner this weekend, marking the return of the big event even as Covid outbreaks have plagued large elite gatherings in the capital.

WHCA dinner guests must present a negative Covid test and be vaccinated against the virus on the same day. Biden will speak at the event, which typically draws 2,500 people.

Eugene Daniels contributed to this report. Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid

Fry Electronics Team

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