White House official and senior Pelosi official, both fully vaccinated, tested positive for Covid-19

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A White House official confirmed that the White House staff member tested positive off campus.

“In accordance with our rigorous COVID-19 protocols, the official remains off campus pending a confirmatory PCR test. The White House medical unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and has not determined any close contact between directors and White House staff. The individual has mild symptoms, “the official said.

“We know there will be groundbreaking cases, but as this example shows, cases in vaccinated people are usually mild,” the official continued. “The White House is prepared for groundbreaking cases with regular testing. This is another reminder of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against serious illness or hospitalization. We wish our colleague a speedy recovery.”

The White House official has had no recent contact with President Joe Biden, another administration official said.

A second administration official told CNN: “If the vaccines are 90-95% effective, you are going to have 5-10% of the vaccinated population who test positive but are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. you will not have members of the vaccinated population going to hospital with serious illness or dying. “

Axios was the first to report breakthrough cases.

Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said in a statement to CNN that the speaker had not had contact with the person in her office who had tested positive since the exposure, which Hammill said , occurred after contact with Texas Democrats last week.

“Yesterday, a fully vaccinated senior spokesperson for the President’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week,” Hammill said. “This person has had no contact with the president since the exposure. The entire press office is working remotely today, except for people who have not had any exposure to the person or who have had a recent negative test. Our office will continue to follow the guidelines of the Attending Physician’s Office closely. “

White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted there had been cases of earlier breakthroughs among White House staff in addition to the fully vaccinated official first reported on Tuesday.

“There have been. I will say that we, under an agreement we made during the transition to be transparent and make information available, we have committed to proactively release information if it is about commissioned officers, ”Psaki said when asked if there had been other cases of breakthroughs among White House staff.

Psaki then clarified that the White House official who tested positive was not a commissioned officer, but declined to say which office the official worked in, citing confidentiality concerns. None of the other positive cases were commissioned officers either, she said, explaining that the White House would have proactively released this information.

Six Texas lawmakers have tested positive for Covid-19 since Friday evening. Lawmakers are part of the group that left Texas, flying from Austin to Washington to break the State House quorum and prevent Republicans from passing restrictive new voting law. Group officials told CNN that all lawmakers participating in the quorum-breaking trip are fully vaccinated, including those who tested positive for Covid-19.

This story was updated with additional developments on Tuesday.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.


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