OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just got some news that she did not want to hear.
One of the Speaker’s staffers has tested positive for COVID-19 after meeting with infected Texas Democrats who fled the state to avoid allowing the Republican legislators to pass voting security laws, Fox News reported.
“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,” one of her top aides, Drew Hammill, said in a statement.
“This individual has had no contact with the speaker since exposure. 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,” he said.
The Speaker and her staffers were seen wearing masks again on Tuesday after the Capitol physician had loosened mask requirements.
“I’m sorry he has it. All the more reason for all of us to be vaccinated as he was. Wear a mask. Take every precaution,” the Speaker said.
Axios also reported that a White House staffer had tested positive for the virus and experienced mild symptoms after attending the same party as the Pelosi staffer. The White House aide was also fully vaccinated.
“We know that there will be breakthrough cases, but as this instance shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild,” a White House official said to Fox News. “The White House is prepared for breakthrough cases with regular testing. This is another reminder of the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalization. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery.”
The news comes after it was reported that Kamala Harris had met with some of the infected Texas legislators but has subsequently tested negative.
Days after Kamala Harris was reported to have taken a seemingly impromptu visit to Walter Reed Medical Center after her meeting with Texas Democrats, five of whom are now reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the Vice President did in fact take a COVID test.
Last Friday, one of the 60 or so Democrats who fled the state of Texas to prevent a vote on two bills pertaining to election integrity was diagnosed with the coronavirus.
On Saturday, the group announced that two others had contracted the illness. That number went up to five on Sunday.
The revelation comes days after Harris’ office denied on Saturday that she would not be tested for the virus or quarantine because based on times and lines of contact, it was not necessary for her to do so.
Speaking to the press on Monday, Psaki, Joe Biden’s spokesperson, said that Harris did get tested for the coronavirus and that the test returned negative.
“I think the vice president’s office put out that she was tested and there was no detection of COVID-19,” Psaki told reporters. “They also put out some specific details about their proximity to the individuals who tested positive as well. We take these precautions incredibly seriously and abide by the guidance of our help and medical experts.”
“Based on the timeline of these positive tests, it was determined the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined,” Harris’ spokesperson Symone Sanders said, noting that Harris and her staff have been fully vaccinated against the disease.