By: Alyssa Wilson
A White House employee and an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to The Hill, officials confirmed the news on Tuesday. Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, said a senior spokesperson in the Speaker’s office tested positive after meeting with Democratic state lawmakers from Texas.
A group of those lawmakers traveled to Washington D.C. to combat restrictive voting legislation that GOP legislators in the state were attempting to pass. Days after their arrival into the nation’s capital, many of them tested positive.
The aide, who has not been identified, is fully vaccinated. “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,” Hammill said. “Our office will continue to follow the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician closely.”
The White House staffer who tested positive is also fully vaccinated and did not have close contact with senior White House officials. This employee attended the same event as the Pelosi aide at a hotel in Washington, D.C. last week.
The White House official gave the following statement to Axios: “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.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still contract COVID-19 if exposed. The CDC calls these “vaccine breakthrough cases” and indicates that vaccinated people are less likely to get sick, but it still happens in some cases. It is also possible that some fully vaccinated people might have infections but may be asymptomatic.