“The entire press office is working remotely today, with the exception of people who have not been exposed to the person or have recently tested negative,” Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said Tuesday. Pelosi’s deputy, in a statement. “Our office will continue to closely follow the guidelines of the Attending Physician’s Office. “
Psaki confirmed at Tuesday’s press conference that a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, saying the official “is currently staying off campus pending a confirmatory PCR test.” She said the White House medical unit carried out contact tracing and interviews, finding no close contact between directors, staff or White House President Joe Biden.
Psaki said this was not the first revolutionary case in the White House. There have been other cases of vaccinated employees testing positive, Psaki said, although they were not commissioned officers and therefore were not reported by the administration.
“We are committed to publishing information proactively if they are commissioned officers,” she said, adding that “we continue to honor this commitment.” Commissioned officers hold a high-level position where they work for the president, rather than working for another White House official.
When asked later in the briefing whether the person newly positive at Covid is a commissioned officer, Psaki replied no. If this was a commissioned officer, Psaki said the White House would have “proactively” released information about their positive test. As it stands, Axios reported the positive case before the White House issued a public statement on the revolutionary infection.
When asked if the administration is concerned that these groundbreaking cases may cause more hesitation among Americans, Psaki said she has not seen data indicating this trend. She also reiterated White House testing protocols and pointed out that those who come into contact with Biden more regularly are also tested more regularly.
“We know there will be breakthrough cases, but as this example shows, cases in people vaccinated are usually mild,” she said. “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 hospitalizations, and of course we wish our colleague a speedy recovery. “
These mild breakthrough infections signify a new phase in the pandemic in the United States – new cases and deaths are much lower than they were during the virus’s winter peak, but cases are on the rise. The situation is particularly bad in areas with low vaccination rates, and CDC director Rochelle Walensky has said it is “becoming an unvaccinated pandemic.”
Walensky also said on Tuesday that the Delta variant accounted for more than 83% of Covid-19 cases in the United States. The highly transmissible variant is stoking fear in some Americans, leading to a resumption of the virus as many hoped the vaccine rollout would bring a return to normality and an end to the pandemic.
In Congress, Tuesday also brought news about the contagious variant of Covid-19. Attending physician Brian Monahan said in a letter that several vaccinated congressional staff and a congressman witnessed revolutionary infections.
Amid widespread questions about whether Congress will change its masking policy, Monahan has not made any changes to the requirements. He wrote in the letter that individuals have personal discretion over mask wearing, but noted that “future developments in the local threat from the Delta coronavirus variant may require the resumption of mask wear for all. , as seen now in several counties in the United States. States. ”
The increase in the Delta variant could also cause a change in sentiment about vaccines for those who were previously hesitant to get hold of them. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), For example, received his first dose of Pfizer on Sunday after resisting because he had tested positive for antibodies.
And on Monday, Fox News host Sean Hannity told his conservative viewers he believed in the vaccine.
“Enough people have died,” said Hannity, who was openly skeptical of the severity of the virus. “We don’t need more deaths. He told viewers to consult their doctors and their research before making “a very important decision for your own safety,” a noticeable change in tone for the conservative network.
About 60% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but vaccination rates have lagged as low-rate states are particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Although groundbreaking cases in people who have been vaccinated can lead to serious illness and even death, this is a much less common outcome than in unvaccinated Americans.
Psaki said the positive cases from Texas lawmakers would have no effect on meetings with the president, as no meeting was scheduled between the group and Biden.
These important positive tests come as the breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are increasingly discussed, with the Delta variant spreading and the White House striving to vaccinate as many Americans as possible against the virus.
That same week, Representative Vern Buchanan announced that he had tested positive after being fully vaccinated, showing mild symptoms. Although revolutionary infections are to be expected, since no vaccine is completely effective against the transmission of the virus, they tend to be milder than unvaccinated infections and are much less likely to cause hospitalizations.