Vaccinated Pelosi, Biden Aides Test Positive For COVID After ‘Rooftop Reception’ With Texas Dems

Following a meeting last week with members of the Texas Legislature who fled the state for Washington, D.C., a fully-vaccinated spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for coronavirus on Monday.

The unidentified staff member had no recent contact with the top California Democrat, according to Drew Hammill, a top adviser to Pelosi, although he noted that the speaker’s office is taking extra measures as precaution.

The statement noted that the aide did not have contact with Speaker Pelosi.

“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,” Hammill said in a statement according to Fox News.

“This individual has had no contact with the speaker since exposure,” he added.

“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,” the Speaker’s office further said.

The Speaker’s aide reportedly attended a “rooftop reception” where the staffer came in contact with Democratic members of the Texas legislature who earlier fled the state in order to block the passage of a GOP-led election integrity bill.

Pelosi and her staff were seen wearing masks in the Capitol again on Tuesday. Many members have refused to wear masks in recent weeks, after the Capitol physician’s easing of mask requirements.

Pelosi urged the public to get vaccinated when asked for comment about her staffer testing positive for Covid-19.

“I’m sorry he has it. All the more reason for all of us to be vaccinated as he was. Wear a mask. Take every precaution,” the Democratic House Speaker said, adding that any decision to bring masks back full-time to the House “will be up to the Capitol physician.”

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Biden aide tests positive 

Separately, Axios reported Monday that a White House aide also tested positive for Covid-19 after attending the same “reception” with Texas Democrats — reportedly held in honor of the 50 Democratic members of the Texas legislature who fled to the Capital in order to deny Texas Republicans the necessary quorum to hold a successful vote on a slew of GOP-backed measures. 

The White House aide was also said to be fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms.

The White House confirmed the news — while noting that the staffer also had “no close contacts among White House principals and staff.”

“We know that there will be breakthrough cases, but as this instance shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild,” a White House official said to Fox News. “The White House is prepared for breakthrough cases with regular testing. This is another reminder of the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalization. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery.”

Six members of the Texas delegation had earlier tested positive for the coronavirus after leaving the state Capitol and traveling to Washington last week in an attempt to derail a special congressional session in which Republicans are seeking to push new election rules.

Cara Santucci, the spokeswoman for the Texas House Democrats confirmed the sixth case and said the undisclosed member is self-isolating — adding that the delegation will no longer release a daily count of positive cases from the Texas legislators.

“We’re focusing on our daily testing, following and going beyond CDC guidelines, social distancing and wearing masks as much as possible,” Santucci told NBC News. 

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris —  who has met with members of the Texas delegation —  has tested negative, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“I think the vice president’s office put out that she was tested and there was no detection of COVID-19,” Psaki said. “They also put out some specific details about their proximity to the individuals who tested positive as well. We take these precautions incredibly seriously and abide by the guidance of our help and medical experts.”

The Texas delegation is anticipated to remain in Washington, D.C. until August 7 in order to completely prevent Texas Republicans from passing bills during the special legislative session. According to estimates, the trip would cost approximately $1.5 million and will be partially funded by the delegates. 

The Texas Democrats claim that the expense will not be passed on to taxpayers, but Governor Greg Abbott said last week that the special session will cost the state approximately $1 million, a sum that might be reduced if the delegation returns.

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Steeve Strange

Steeve is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Scoop.