After a visit from Texas state lawmakers who had COVID-19 spreading through their ranks, two Washington staffers, including a White House official and one who works for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tested positive for the coronavirus.
Six of the more than 50 Texas lawmakers who flew to Washington last week for a standoff over voting rights have tested positive for the coronavirus. A "fully vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker's Press Office tested positive for Covid-19 following interaction with members of the Texas state legislature last week," according to Drew Hammill, a Pelosi spokesman.
Is Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden exposed with Covid-19 positive staff?
Except those who are not exposed or who have just tested negative, Hammill said the employee has had no interaction with Nancy Pelosi since being exposed and that many of Pelosi's press team members were working remotely Tuesday. According to a White House official, a vaccinated White House staffer tested positive for the virus after contact with the Pelosi aide. President Joe Biden has not been in contact with the infected person.
Following a meeting with Democratic members of the Texas legislature last week, the Pelosi aide tested positive for the virus. The White House official was at a reception that the Pelosi staff member also attended, according to Axios, which first reported the positive tests.
Six Texas Democrats tested positive for the virus after fleeing Austin last week to prevent a vote on legislation imposing stricter voting rules. They visited with numerous lawmakers, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who tested negative for the virus after the encounter, according to the White House.
The positive staffer tests came only one day after Florida Republican Representative Vern Buchanan revealed that he got afflicted with the virus. Buchanan has received all of his vaccinations prior to testing positive for COVID-19.
In a statement released Tuesday, Congress' attending physician, Brian Monahan, stated that many vaccinated workers and one lawmaker tested positive for Covid-19. Monahan said he wouldn't make wearing a mask mandatory, but that people had the personal option to do so and that further precautionary steps might be explored in the future, as per Bloomberg via MSN.
Should the White House change pandemic measures?
After knowing the positive tests, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer raised issues about whether the House should return to pandemic measures like staggered voting, virtual hearings, and mandatory mask wearing in the Capitol.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that there has been more breakthrough situations in the administration, but she declined to provide specifics or numbers, stating that they only committed to publicizing incidents involving high-level White House staff. The West Wing and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building are both parts of the White House campus, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. She claims she is tested every two weeks.
In coordination with public health and medical professionals, the administration is monitoring the health of the campus in the broader community. Psaki said, "We have a robust infrastructure to ensure compliance with these protocols, and we're asking staff to also monitor themselves for symptoms and stay off-campus if they develop symptoms."
The Delta variant is highly infectious and has resulted in a 224 percent increase in cases in the US. Vaccines are currently available that are effective against it. Breakthrough Covid-19 cases in vaccinated people had considerably milder symptoms than in unprotected people, according to health experts.
Cases of Covid-19 are on the rise in the United States. On Monday, the United States reported 52,111 new cases, with a seven-day rolling average of 34,682, up 224 percent from the 10,678 average three weeks earlier.
According to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data, infections have increased in nearly every state and the District of Columbia in the previous week, except Montana and Iowa. Staffers in the White House have been vaccinated against Covid-19, but they are also checked regularly.