Pelosi Aide, White House Official Have Coronavirus After Rooftop Reception with Texas Democrats

Pelosi Aide, White House Official Have Coronavirus After Rooftop Reception with Texas Democrats

A senior staffer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and a White House official both tested positive for coronavirus after going to a reception with some Texas Democrats who fled their state earlier this month for Washington, DC, and subsequently tested positive for coronavirus, according to a report.

Fifty-five Democrats had fled the state last week to avoid voting on voter integrity bills, tweeting out gleeful maskless travel selfies along the way. At least six have now tested positive for coronavirus, despite reportedly all being vaccinated.

Axios first reported that the Pelosi staffer had helped to usher a delegation of the Texas Democrats around Capitol Hill last week, and then attended, along with the White House official, a rooftop reception at Hotel Eaton on Wednesday.

The White House staffer has not had recent direct contact with President Joe Biden, and the Pelosi aide did not have contact with the speaker, the report said. The White House said in a statement to Axios the official “has mild symptoms.” Both were reportedly fully vaccinated.

Separately, Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said in a statement: “Yesterday, a fully-vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week.”

“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. Our office will continue to follow the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician closely,” he said.

The news of their condition came after the sixth Texas Democrat tested positive for coronavirus — or 10% of the 55 Democrats that fled the state.

Sixth Texas Democrat in DC tests positive for COVID @dmnews

— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) July 20, 2021

The Texas Democrats also spent an hour with Vice President Kamala Harris last Tuesday, three days before the first Texas Democrat developed cold-like symptoms and tested positive.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Harris has since tested negative. Harris went to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday, which Psaki said was a routine and previously scheduled visit.

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Kristina Wong