White House says Kamala Harris WAS a close contact with COVID-positive Biden after she spent the day in Charlotte meeting people and talking high-speed internet and reproductive rights
- The White House said late Thursday afternoon that Vice President Kamala Harris was deemed a ‘close contact’ of President Joe Biden
- Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning, as Harris was traveling to Charlotte, North Carolina
- She tested negative, but was told to wear a mask by the White House medical team, and proceeded with her schedule
- During the Thursday afternoon briefing, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the process of determining who was a close contact to Biden was ongoing
- In the early evening a White House official said Harris was considered a close contact but there would be no changes to her schedule
The White House said late Thursday afternoon that Vice President Kamala Harris was deemed a ‘close contact’ of President Joe Biden, who tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning.
Harris spent the day – mostly masked – in Charlotte, North Carolina, headlining events on high-speed internet and reproductive rights.
Earlier, as the news broke that Biden had finally caught the coronavirus, a White House official said that Harris had tested negative and was last with the president in-person on Tuesday.
Harris had COVID-19 in late April.
‘She spoke with the president by phone this morning,’ the official said. ‘The schedule will continue as planned.’
‘The Vice President will remain masked following the advice of the White House medical team,’ the official added.
The White House said late Thursday afternoon that Vice President Kamala Harris was deemed a ‘close contact’ of President Joe Biden, who tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning. She’s photographed, sans mask, speaking at an event on high-speed internet in Charlotte
President Joe Biden shared a photograph working from the residence to social media platforms after testing positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning. His doctor said his symptoms consisted of a runny nose, fatigue and a dry cough
Vice President Kamala Harris waves as she arrives at the Charlotte Douglas Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina as the news broke that President Joe Biden had contracted COVID-19
Vice President Kamala Harris (fourth from right) remained masked for most of the day as she continued with her schedule in Charlotte, North Carolina after President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19
Later Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the process of determining who was a close contact to Biden was ongoing.
‘We are just starting our process. We are just starting our process, I don’t have a number to readout to you,’ Jean-Pierre said when peppered with questions about who was a close contact of the president.
A ‘close contact,’ as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is someone who has spent more than 15 minutes, and under six-feet away, from a person who tests positive for COVID-19.
The CDC says a person’s mask-wearing status is irrelevant.
The White House said Harris’ schedule wouldn’t change due to her status as a close contact to the president.
Because she’s fully vaccinated, Harris just needs to be tested for COVID-19 around the five-day mark of her exposure from Biden to follow CDC guidelines.
The guidelines also say she should wear a mask for 10 days following Tuesday’s encounter with the president.
Biden’s positive test comes after he traveled to Massachusetts Wednesday, hosted Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska at the White House Tuesday and went to church Sunday.
He arrived back around midnight Saturday from his first trip to the Middle East – making stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia.
Biden’s doctor said his symptoms were fatigue, a dry cough and a runny nose.
Jean-Pierre brushed off the question of whether there were plans in place to transfer presidential power to Harris should the president’s COVID case get dramatically worse.
‘The president has mild symptoms, he’s able to do the business of the American people from the residence, and that’s what matters right now,’ Jean-Pierre said and then exited the briefing room.