A current total of two Washington staffers, one of Pelosi’s and one of Biden’s, have been infected with COVID after being fully vaccinated, but the President and Speaker themselves were reportedly not exposed.
It seemed like a clever political stunt, but an unintended consequence has hit the delegation of Texas lawmakers who jetted to Washington, DC to prevent a quorum on that state’s voting legislation. Namely, they brought a little COVID with them. And it has not infected the highest levels of the U.S. government, but it has infected the highest offices, as Axios reported Tuesday morning that staffers for Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden have been infected with COVID-19.
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
It’s just one individual in each of Pelosi and Biden’s offices, and per Politico, “both individuals are vaccinated and mildly symptomatic.” So these are both breakthrough cases, and quite likely thanks to the more infectious Delta variant. In the White House case, it is an unnamed staffer; in the case of Pelosi’s office the individual has been identified as a senior spokesperson.
SCOOP: A White House official and a staff member for Nancy Pelosi have both tested positive for COVID after attending the same reception last week, officials confirmed to Axios. https://t.co/UTpb7JeMEr— Axios (@axios) July 20, 2021
"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," Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said in a statement to Axios. “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.”
They have not said whether Pelosi herself has tested negative, only that she’s has no contact with the staffer since that person’s exposure. Meanwhile at the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed today that this is not the first breakthrough case in the White House.
The Delta variant is here and it's spreading faster than what we experienced in previous surges.— London Breed (@LondonBreed) July 20, 2021
If you’re not vaccinated, it is likely not a matter of if you will get it, but when, and how bad it will be when you do.
We need everyone to get vaccinated today.
Trolls will claim this means the vaccines are useless, and celebrate the COVID-19 scare among senior Democratic leadership (Glenn Greenwald already is.) But no one here requires a hospital bed or is developing serious symptoms, and the contact tracing appears to have been swift and spot-on. The Delta variant is scary-infectious and hospitalization rates are spiking, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are unvaccinated people. Hardly anyone who’s vaccinated is getting sick.
Here’s a list of the dozens of places you can get vaccinated for free in San Francisco.
Top Image: WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on October 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi spoke about the latest coronavirus stimulus bill that did not pass in the Senate yesterday. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)