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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid-19

She is the country's highest-ranking official to test positive for the virus.

WASHINGTON (CN) — Vice President Kamala Harris is not experiencing any symptoms, the White House stressed Tuesday, but tested positive for Covid-19.

Harris, 57, is vaccinated and has received two booster shots, according to her office. Her diagnosis comes after she spent a week in California where she spoke at a series of events focused on the administration's portfolio issues including health care.

The White House said Harris has not been in close contact with President Joe Biden or first lady Jill Biden, due to their different travel schedules, over the two-week congressional recess.

“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on rapid and PCR tests. She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence,” Kirsten Allen, press secretary to the vice president, said in a statement.

Harris is the highest-ranking government official to test positive for Covid-19. She evaded testing positive for the virus last month after her husband, the so-called second gentleman Doug Emhoff, contracted the virus in mid-March.

Democratic Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Ron Wyden of Oregon, who are both fully vaccinated, also tested positive Tuesday for Covid-19. Both senators' offices said the lawmakers are experiencing mild symptoms of the virus.

Their absences this week will deal a blow to Democrats' typically 50-50 majority in the Senate, making it unlikely the chamber will be able to move on significant legislation or confirmations this week without bipartisan unity.

Covid-19 is on the rise in Washington, D.C., and has been making its way around Congress and the White House in recent weeks.

Case counts and hospitalizations have been ramping up this month, with an average of 198 cases reported each day in the city, up 38% from the average two weeks ago, per The New York Times. Earlier this month, the swanky Gridiron Club dinner, an event for the who's who in the capital, sparked a flurry of positive tests among lawmakers, journalists and Cabinet members.

Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raymondo both tested positive after the event.

Against this backdrop, masks are coming off across the country in the wake of a federal court ruling against the CDC's transportation mask mandate and Congress remains stalled over funding for federal Covid-19 testing, vaccine and research programs.

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Categories / Government, Health, National

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