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Tipsheet

Kamala Harris Has COVID

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID, her press secretary Kirsten Allen announced in a release on Tuesday:

Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests. She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President's residence. She has not been a close contact to the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules. She will follow CDC guidelines and the advice of her physicians. The Vice President will return to the White House when she tests negative.

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While President Biden has avoided contracting the virus amid recent outbreaks affecting the West Wing, Harris is now the highest-ranking official in the administration to test positive.

Harris — who said during the 2020 campaign that "If Donald Trump tells us to take [a COVID vaccine], I’m not taking it" — is fully vaccinated and had been boosted twice before her diagnosis. 

Earlier in April, Vice President Harris was caught breaking the White House's COVID protocol during events to celebrate the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, appearing maskless while indoors:

Harris appeared in a video shot in the Oval Office with President Biden, Judge Jackson, and others on April 8th without a mask in sight. But on Friday, Psaki told the press that Harris was wearing a mask indoors because of her "close contact" with her communications director who tested positive for COVID on April 6th. The CDC dictates that those in Harris' situation "[w]ear a well-fitting mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask."

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At the time of the contradiction between what the White House said its policy was and how celebrants acted, Jen Psaki brushed off the hypocrisy as being harmless due to the fact that "it was an emotional day."

The White House's adherence to pandemic protocol also raised eyebrows when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) tested positive for COVID the day after she kissed President Biden on the cheek — yet the president wasn't considered a "close contact" of Pelosi, as Katie reported here

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