A White House official fully vaccinated against covid-19 tested positive for coronavirus, a spokeswoman said Tuesday, adding that the person had not had contact with President Joe. Biden nor with other high-ranking officials.
“I want to confirm that yesterday (Monday) a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for covid-19 outside the premises,” the press secretary of Biden, Jen Psaki, adding that the official, who has not been identified, had “mild” symptoms.
He added that, according to “rigorous” protocols, the official will stay away from the White House while they await more evidence and that a contact tracing is being carried out.
“We know there will be cases,” Psaki told reporters. “But as this incident shows, cases in vaccinated people are typically mild. The White House is prepared for cases with regular tests to appear ”.
Psaki also said that “there have been” other infections from people vaccinated against covid-19 among White House staff, but did not confirm how many or when they occurred.
This is “another reminder of the efficacy of anticovid vaccines against serious illnesses or hospitalizations,” he said at a press conference.
Across town, the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed that one of its top spokespersons tested positive, after meeting with Democratic state legislators from Texas who had been in the U.S. capital.
Since being exposed, the person had no contact with Pelosi, who comes after the vice president in the line of presidential succession, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said in a statement.
The vaccination campaign in the United States has stalled in recent weeks after great strides. About 68% of adults have received at least a first dose, but there are large geographic disparities.
Opposition to the vaccine is significantly tied to the political divide in the country, with hostility much more pronounced in the right-wing demographic, particularly among supporters of former President Donald Trump.