A fully vaccinated White House official has tested positive for COVID-19, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed to reporters Tuesday.
The White House and Capitol Hill have seen a spate of coronavirus infections after Democratic lawmakers from Texas fled their home state to Washington, DC in an attempt to block Republican legislation. Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with the lawmakers last week, six of whom have since tested positive. At least one fully vaccinated staffer in Pelosi’s office has since tested positive, as well a White House official, Psaki confirmed Tuesday. (RELATED: More Texas Democrats Who Fled State Test Positive For COVID)
“Yesterday, a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for COVID-19 off campus. In accordance with our rigorous COVID-19 protocols, the official remains off campus as they wait for confirmatory PCR test,” Psaki said at Tuesday’s press briefing.
The White House has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined that the official, who is experiencing “mild” symptoms, had no contact with “White House principals or staff or the President.”
Psaki went on to confirm at Tuesday’s briefing that the White House has seen multiple infections among vaccinated staff. Contracting COVID-19 while vaccinated is rare, but possible, and such cases are typically far less severe than they might have been had the individual not been vaccinated. (RELATED: Instead Of Showing Up To Work, Texas Democrats Grab Some Miller Lites And Go On Maskless Flight To Save Democracy From Big Bad Republicans)
“We know that there will be breakthrough cases. But as this incident shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild. 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,” she said.
“There have been,” Psaki responded when asked about potential other infections among White House staff. “I will say that we, according to an agreement we made during the transition to be transparent and make information available, we committed that we would release information proactively if it is commissioned officers.”