One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spokespeople tested positive on Monday for coronavirus after having met with Democrats from the Texas Legislature who ran away from the state and went to Washington, D.C.
Drew Hammill, one of Pelosi’s top aides, confirmed that the staff member was vaccinated and didn’t have any recent contact with Pelosi, though the speaker’s office has enacted additional precautions as a result.
Hammill explained that the entire office is working remotely except for individuals who have tested negative recently and that they will follow guidance posted by the Office of Attending Physician.
On Tuesday, reporters spotted Pelosi and her staff wearing masks yet again at the Capitol despite the Capitol physician loosening restrictions recently. Many members have chosen to abandon masks in light of the updated guidance of the Capitol physician.
When Pelosi was asked about her COVID-positive aide, she said that she was regretful that he contracted the illness and argued that it highlights how one can’t be too cautious. “Wear a mask. Take every precaution,” she said.
When asked about whether mask mandates would return to the House of Representatives, she said that the decision laid with the Capital physician.
In a separate incident, it’s been reported by Axios that an official from the White House also tested positive with coronavirus following a visit to the same rooftop reception that the Pelosi staffer attended last Wednesday evening. The White House aide was also identified as a fully vaccinated individual.
A White House official confirmed that information and added that the staffer has been kept off site since until they clear a PCR test. White House medical staff conducted a contact trace and concluded that the staffer did not come into close contact with any other White House staff or principals.
The White House spokesperson explained that they understand “there will be breakthrough cases” for vaccinated individuals, but added that “as this instance shows… vaccinated individuals [symptoms] are typically mild.” The spokesperson then argued that the situation served as a reminder of how effective the vaccine is.
News of breakthrough cases continue to mount as over six members of the runaway Texas delegation were discovered to be COVID-positive after having traveled between the Texas Capitol and Washington last week in their public stunt aimed at thwarting a special legislative session wherein Republicans planned to pass election reform bills.
Author: Boyd Greer