A White House official has tested positive for COVID, as well as a staff member for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The news was reported in a ‘scoop‘ by Axios.
“While both individuals are vaccinated and mildly symptomatic, they illustrate how Americans inoculated against the coronavirus can still contract and, potentially, unknowingly transmit the virus — even at the highest levels of the nation’s government,” Axios noted.
“We know that there will be breakthrough cases, but as this instance shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild,” a White House official told Axios. It appears that “breakthrough case” is the new euphemism for a case among those who were “fully vaccinated.”
The news comes amidst reports of even more Texas Democratic lawmakers testing positive for COVID-19: The count is now up to six.
And the lawmakers’ maskless junket to avoid voting on a series of urgent bills in a special session in the Texas legislature has turned into a ‘superspreader’ event at the highest echelons of power in Washington D.C.
“The Pelosi staffer helped usher a delegation of Democratic Texas lawmakers around the Capitol last week,” Axios reported. “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 report continued. “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.”
Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi, commented on the positive COVID test.
“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 spokesperson said.
“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 added.
The news adds to the fallout from the Texas Democrats’ flight to the nation’s capitol.
“The six lawmakers are among House Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C. to stave off GOP priority voting bills during the special legislative session,” the report continued. “The members who tested positive all have been fully vaccinated, which helps protect against severe illness. All of the lawmakers are showing no symptoms or only mild symptoms.”
On Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris, who had met with the Texas Democrats on Tuesday, July 13, made a visit to Walter Reed hospital. The results from any COVID testing have not been released, but the White House denies that Harris contracted COVID.
It says on the White House calendar that Vice President Kamala Harris met with President Joe Biden on Friday.