White House official and Pelosi staff member test positive for Covid


U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addresses a news conference on upcoming infrastructure legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 30, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

A White House official and a staff member for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have tested positive for Covid, officials said.

Both are fully vaccinated and had attended the same event last week, according to Axios. The two, who weren’t named, tested positive on Monday.

The infected White House official had mild symptoms, according to NBC News.

“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 NBC News.

“This is another reminder of the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalization,” the official added.

The White House official has not been in contact with other principals or staff, the Biden administration confirmed.

The Pelosi staff member tested positive after meeting with members of the Texas state legislature last week, but has had no contact with Pelosi since the exposure.

Pelosi said she is “so sorry” about the staff member testing positive, and added that it reinforces the need for individuals to wear masks and get vaccinated, according to her spokesperson.

When asked if it was time to bring masks back to the U.S. Capitol, Pelosi said “it will be up to the Capitol physician,” the spokesperson added.

Pelosi, 81, and President Joe Biden, 78, are fully vaccinated.

The infections come after more than 50 Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives fled the state to Washington, D.C., last week, in a bid to deny a Republican-backed voting reform bill.

On Monday, a sixth Texas Democrat tested positive for Covid-19, according to NBC News.

The Texas state Democrats met with U.S. senators at the Capitol last week to discuss voting rights. They also met with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Harris tested negative for Covid following the meeting, according to CNN.

Covid cases are climbing in U.S., particularly in counties with low vaccination rates. A CNBC analysis showed that there are 463 counties in the U.S. with high rates of infection, with 80% of those counties having vaccinated less than 40% of their 23 million residents.

Health officials are also becoming increasingly worried about the delta variant, which was first identified in India and is significantly more infectious than the original strain. The delta variant now accounts for 83% of all sequenced Covid cases in the U.S., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.

The CDC said in late May that all authorized Covid vaccines demonstrated efficacy against the virus in adults over 18 years old. For each vaccine, the overall efficacy was similar across different populations. This includes young and elderly adults, in individuals with and without underlying health condition, and individuals of different races and ethnicities.

The Pfizer vaccine also demonstrated high efficacy against symptomatic Covid cases in adolescents who are age 12 to 17, according to the CDC.

Fully vaccinated adults 65 and older are also 94% less likely to be hospitalized with Covid than people of the same age who were not vaccinated, according to a study by the CDC in April.


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