An aide to House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a White House official have both contracted coronavirus after attending an event together last week, Axios reported.
Both are vaccinated and exhibiting mild symptoms, part of the broader concern that vaccinated individuals can still contract the virus and while the vaccine protects them from developing severe illness, it still can spread.
COVID-19 cases are on the rise in all fifty states, driven by the more infectious Delta variant. The Delta variant makes up 83% of sequenced samples in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, according to CNN. The outbreaks are more severe in states where a higher share of the population are unvaccinated.
In this case, the spread reached the highest levels of government. The Pelosi staffer spent last week with the Texas Democrats, who are in Washington DC to prevent the passage of a voting reform bill in Texas that critics say is unfairly onerous for voters and especially difficult for African-Americans, a significant percentage of the Texas population and a reliable Democrat voting bloc.
Six of the Texas Democrats have tested positive for coronavirus.
“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. “In accordance with our rigorous COVID-19 protocols, the official remains off campus as they wait for a confirmatory PCR test. The White House Medical Unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined no close contacts among White House principals and staff. The individual has mild symptoms.”
The Pelosi staffer did not have contact with the House Leader since his or her exposure, and the White House aide was not in close quarters with President Biden recently.
Updated Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 12:17 pm .