WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, the White House said, highlighting the persistence of the virus as the United States lifts pandemic restrictions in an attempt to return to normal.
Harris’s press secretary Kirsten Allen said that neither President Joe Biden nor First Lady Jill Biden were considered “close contacts” of Harris in recent days. Harris was scheduled to attend Biden’s daily briefing on Tuesday, but he was not present, the White House said.
The vice president returned Monday from a week-long trip to the nation’s west coast. The last time Harris was with Biden was on Monday, April 18.
“I do not have any symptoms and will remain isolated and following CDC guidelines,” Harris tweeted. “I am grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted.”
It was not immediately clear if he had been prescribed any antiviral medication.
Biden phoned her Tuesday afternoon to make sure she “has everything she needs” while working from home, the White House said.
Harris, 57, received her first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine weeks before taking office, and the second dose days after taking office in 2021. She received her booster dose in late October. and a second booster on April 1. Fully vaccinated people with boosters have a high degree of protection against severe symptoms and death from COVID-19, particularly from the omicron variant, which is more common and highly transmissible.
Harris’s diagnosis came a month after her husband, Doug Emhoff, recovered from the virus, as a wave of cases has spread through Washington’s political class, infecting cabinet members, White House staff and lawmakers. , including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The White House has put in place strict COVID-19 protocols around the president, vice president and their spouses, including daily testing for those in close contact with them. Biden is regularly tested on the recommendation of his doctor, the White House said, and on Monday he returned a negative result.