WASHINGTON – Second gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, forcing Vice President Kamala Harris to miss an evening ceremony to recognize Equal Pay Day.
The White House announced Emhoff’s positive test shortly before Harris was scheduled to appear with Biden at the ceremony at 6 p.m.
Sabrina Singh, the vice president’s deputy secretary, said Harris did not attend “out of an abundance of caution,” but that the vice president tested negative for COVID-19 on Tuesday and will continue to be tested.
Shortly after dinner, Emhoff attended an event at the Marvin Gaye Greening Center in northeast Washington, DC in honor of AmeriCorps Week, and he interacted with the center’s staff and members of the press. The White House did not say when Emhoff’s test on Tuesday turned out to be positive.
In his remarks at the Equal Pay Day event, Biden noted Harris’ absence due to Emhoff’s positive test. Biden originally referred to Emhoff as “the man of the first lady” before realizing that it would mean him.
“Let’s send her our love,” Biden said of Harris. About Emhoff, the president said, “He’s doing very well, I’m told.”
The Equal Pay Day ceremony appeared to be the most crowded indoor event in the White House during the Biden presidency, which has largely functioned under limited-capacity COVID-19 security restrictions. Most attendees, including members of Congress and White House officials, did not wear masks.
A few hours earlier, Harris was by Biden’s side when the president signed a $ 1.5 trillion state aid bill. Biden will travel to Brussels next week for a NATO summit on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The White House ended its mask mandate this month as positive COVID-19 cases in the District of Columbia plummeted. The White House announced Tuesday that it would resume public tours on April 15, two years after free tours of the White House ceased during the coronavirus pandemic.
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