US VP Kamala Harris tests positive for coronavirus

WASHINGTON: US Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday but is asymptomatic and not considered a current close contact of President Joe Biden, the White House said.

“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,” said Harris’ press secretary, Kirsten Allen.

“She has not been a close contact to the president or first lady due to their respective recent travel schedules,” Allen said, adding that Harris would “return to the White House when she tests negative.”

Harris, 57, is the latest in a rash of cases sweeping through the Washington elite.

Her husband, Doug Emhoff, came down with COVID in March, although Harris herself remained negative.

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As infections from the virulent, but dramatically less dangerous, Omicron variant of the coronavirus mount, the White House has publicly aired the possibility of the 79-year-old Biden testing positive — while downplaying any potential fallout.

“It is certainly possible that he will test positive for COVID, and he is vaccinated, he is boosted and protected from the most severe strains of the virus,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said earlier this month.

High-profile cases in Washington recently include White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who contracted COVID in March and also last year, as well as House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who comes after Harris in the line of succession to the presidency.

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