Pelosi aide, White House official test positive for Covid-19 after contact with Texas Democrats

“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,” Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of employees, stated in an announcement on Tuesday. “Our office will continue to follow the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician closely.”

Psaki confirmed throughout Tuesday’s press briefing {that a} totally vaccinated White House official examined positive for Covid-19 on Monday, saying the official presently “remains off-campus as they wait for a confirmatory PCR test.” She stated the White House medical unit has carried out contact tracing and interviews, discovering no shut contact amongst White House principals, employees or President Joe Biden.

Psaki stated this is not the primary breakthrough case on the White House. There have been different situations of vaccinated workers testing positive, Psaki stated, although they weren’t commissioned officers and due to this fact weren’t reported by the administration.

“We committed that we would release information proactively if it is commissioned officers,” she stated, including that “we continue to abide by that commitment.” Commissioned officers maintain a high-level place the place they work for the president, somewhat than working for one other White House official.

Asked later within the briefing whether or not the newly Covid-positive particular person is a commissioned officer, Psaki stated no. Were they a commissioned officer, Psaki stated the White House would have “proactively” launched details about their positive test. As it was, Axios reported the positive case earlier than the White House launched a public assertion in regards to the breakthrough an infection.

Asked whether or not the administration fears that these breakthrough circumstances will spur extra vaccine hesitancy amongst Americans, Psaki stated she hasn’t seen information to point this pattern. She additionally reiterated the White House’s testing protocols and emphasised that those that are extra commonly in contact with Biden are additionally examined extra commonly.

“We know that there will be breakthrough cases, but as this instance shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild,” she stated. “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 hospitalizations, and of course we wish our colleague a speedy recovery.”

These gentle breakthrough infections signify a brand new section of the pandemic within the U.S. — new circumstances and deaths are far decrease than they had been in the course of the virus’ winter peak, however circumstances are on the rise. The state of affairs is especially dangerous in areas with poor vaccination charges, and the CDC director, Rochelle Walensky, has declared that it’s “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

Walensky additionally stated on Tuesday that the Delta variant accounts for greater than 83 % of Covid-19 circumstances within the U.S. The extremely transmissible variant is stoking worry in some Americans, driving the virus’ upswing as many hoped the vaccine rollout would deliver a return to normalcy and the top of the pandemic.

Over in Congress, Tuesday additionally introduced information in regards to the contagious Covid-19 variant. Attending Physician Brian Monahan stated in a letter that a number of vaccinated congressional employees members and one member of Congress have seen breakthrough infections.

Amid widespread questions on whether or not Congress will change its masking coverage, Monahan didn’t present adjustments in necessities. He wrote within the letter that people have private discretion with regards to mask-wearing, however did be aware that “future developments in the coronavirus Delta variant local threat may require the resumption of mask wear for all as now seen in several counties in the United States.”

The rise within the Delta variant additionally is perhaps spurring a change in sentiment concerning vaccines for those that had been beforehand hesitant to get them. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), for occasion, acquired his first dose of the Pfizer shot on Sunday after holding out as a result of he’d examined positive for antibodies.

And on Monday, Fox News host Sean Hannity instructed his conservative viewership he believes within the vaccine.

“Enough people have died,” Hannity, who’s been overtly skeptical of the severity of the virus, stated. “We don’t need any more deaths.” He instructed viewers to seek the advice of with their medical doctors and analysis earlier than making “a very important decision for your own safety,” a notable shift in tone for the conservative community.

Around 60 % of Americans have obtained not less than one dose of the shot, however vaccination charges have been dragging as states with low charges get hit particularly laborious by the pandemic. Though the breakthrough circumstances in vaccinated folks may end up in extreme illness and even dying, it is a far much less frequent end result than in unvaccinated Americans.

Psaki stated the Texas lawmakers’ positive circumstances is not going to have any impact on conferences with the president, since there have been no conferences deliberate between the group and Biden.

These outstanding positive checks come as Covid-19 breakthrough circumstances are more and more mentioned, with the Delta variant spreading and the White House working to vaccinate as many Americans as doable in opposition to the virus.

This identical week, Rep. Vern Buchanan introduced that he examined positive after being totally vaccinated, experiencing gentle signs. Though breakthrough infections are to be anticipated, seeing as no vaccine is totally efficient in opposition to contracting the virus, they are typically milder than unvaccinated infections and are far much less prone to end in hospitalizations.

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