Growing number of prominent members of Congress and senior officials in Washington, D.C contract Covid-19, raising concerns about the risk to Joe Biden as debunked White House events mount.
Celebrations were held at the White House on Friday confirmation of the Senate by Ketanji Brown Jackson for the Supreme Court and the event was held outdoors, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, who was missing the US President’s trip to Europe last month after he tested positive for coronavirus.
Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock tested positive Thursday shortly after the Senate chambers voted to confirm Jackson.
Vice President Kamala Harris, in her dual capacity as Senate President, officially announced the results of Jackson’s confirmation vote on Thursday afternoon while sitting on the dais without a mask and beaming as she marked it historical momentand attended Jackson’s White House celebration on Friday despite her communications director being infected.
And the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, tested positive for Covid-19 also on Thursday, after appearing unmasked at crowded indoor events with Biden on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking politician to have contracted Covid-19 since President Donald Trump was hospitalized with coronavirus in October 2020.
While Biden tested negative following his interactions with Pelosi, the White House acknowledged that Biden could test positive in the coming days.
“It’s possible that he will eventually test positive for Covid,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said on CNN, noting that with antiviral treatments and vaccines, “people go about their lives and certainly the President of the United States does.” that”.
Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine has tested positive for Covid-19, and at least eight representatives from the House of Representatives have also tested positive for Covid-19, along with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, who announced she tested positive on Wednesday.
Capitol Hill’s latest diagnoses came after several government officials attended a dinner hosted by Washington’s Gridiron Club and Foundation, the journalism organization, on Saturday, which many are calling a “super-spreader” event.
Although Pelosi did not attend Saturday’s dinner, a growing number of officials attending the gala have tested positive, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, who tested positive Wednesday, Raimondo, Harris’ communications director Jamal Simmons and other prominent figures.
Harris was in close contact with Simmons, who tested positive Wednesday after the Gridiron dinner, Harris’ press secretary Kirsten Allen said.
Simmons also attended events with Biden after Saturday’s event and was pictured at one Event at the White House East Room celebrates the Affordable Care Act Tuesday alongside former Presidents Barack Obama and Harris.
At least 37 positive Covid-19 cases came out of the event on Saturdayaccording to a letter from the Gridiron Club to its members.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Gridiron Club President Tom DeFrank said “there is no way of knowing when they first contracted Covid.
“But they have been interacting with other guests at night and we have to be realistic and expect more cases.” said DeFrank. “Except in cases of officials who have disclosed their status themselves, we will protect the privacy of guests who have tested positive.”
While guests were required to show proof of vaccination at dinner on Saturday, a negative Covid test before the event was not mandatory.
Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in Washington DC and among several politicians Lawmakers ruled out $15 billion in pandemic aid from a spending bill, cutting off access to vaccinations, Covid-19 testing and care for the uninsured.
Many cities, including Washington DC, have also dropped indoor mask and vaccination requirements.
The US is also likely to see a spike in cases over the next few weeks, said Dr. Anthony Fauci. with an increase expected in autumn.
The last time there was a Supreme Court confirmation celebration in the White House was for now Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett and Several Republicans have signed Covid. The main event took place outside, but there was a crowded reception inside just before the November 2020 presidential election – and before there was an approved vaccine against Covid.