Doug Emhoff: Second gentleman tested positive for Covid-19
Doug Emhoff: Second gentleman tested positive for Covid-19

Doug Emhoff: Second gentleman tested positive for Covid-19

“Earlier today, the second gentleman tested positive for Covid-19,” said Sabrina Singh, Vice Presidential Secretary to Vice President Kamala Harris. “Out of an abundance of caution, the Vice President will not attend tonight’s event. The Vice President tested negative for Covid-19 today and will continue to test.”

Emhoff’s positive test is the first known case of Covid-19 among the first or second family since President Joe Biden and Harris took office in January 2021.

“I tested positive for COVID. My symptoms are mild and I am grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Emhoff said on Twitter Tuesday evening. “If you have not yet been vaccinated and boosted, please do not wait.”

A White House official told CNN that Emhoff “did not experience symptoms prior to his morning events,” but had “mild symptoms this afternoon.”

“He took an antigen test and tested negative. Out of an abundance of caution, he then took a PCR test and tested positive,” the official told CNN.

Harris was scheduled to attend an Equal Pay Day event at the White House Tuesday night that began just as Emhoff’s test results were announced. As a potential sign of how the vice president was pulled out of the event at the last minute, there was an empty chair for her on stage for the Equal Pay Day event. The White House Twitter account had also announced upcoming comments from Harris in a message sent at 7 p.m. 18.00 ET, just before the event was to begin.

Biden addressed Harris’ absence at the event, saying: “Kamala chose not to take a chance when he tested positive – by the way, he’s fine, but out of an abundance of caution she decided not to attend.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week that the president was last tested Sunday and tested negative. CNN has asked the White House for more information on when the president will be tested next time.

The Vice President attended an event with Biden in the White House earlier Tuesday when he signed a $ 1.5 trillion state aid law. Harris stood by Biden’s side when the president made remarks, and later stood in the crowd of lawmakers attending the signing ceremony.
Neither Harris nor Biden wore a mask at the event. Inside the White House, in line with changes in federal public health guidelines in recent weeks, officials and visitors have not been required to wear masks or social distances. Covid-19 cases in Washington have abruptly fell since their peak in early January, when the country faced a wave of Omicron variants.

Earlier Tuesday, Emhoff visited a community garden in the nation’s capital for an event. The other gentleman had the garden outside during the event.

CNN has asked the White House for a comment on when Emhoff was last in contact with Biden and for more information about his test. A White House official said Biden was not considered a close contact with the other gentleman.

Harris has previously had a close brush with Covid-19. The vice president tested negative last summer after a meeting with the Texas House Democrats, several of which were later tested positive for coronavirus.

According to the guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully vaccinated individuals can “quarantine after a known exposure if they are asymptomatic.” Harris is fully vaccinated and boosted, as is her husband.

This story has been updated with further reporting.

CNN’s Paul LeBlanc contributed to this report.

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