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Two people involved in Biden, Harris campaign test positive for COVID-19

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at first campaign event since the announce of her selection as VP (YouTube/WikiCommons)

Two people involved in Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign — Liz Allen, communications director for Sen. Kamala Harris, and a non-staff flight crew member — have tested positive for COVID-19.

The campaign learned of the positive tests Wednesday, according to a statement from the campaign.

Neither was in contact with Biden or Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president, during the 48 hours prior to the positive tests. But Harris’ travel has been canceled through Sunday “out of an abundance of caution.”

Harris was scheduled to visit North Carolina — a top battleground state in the 2020 election — on Thursday. It would have been her second trip to the state in three weeks. She was also scheduled to visit Ohio on Friday.

She will instead hold a virtual event in North Carolina on Thursday and talk about the “ease of voting early in North Carolina,” according to a statement posted on Twitter by CBS News reporter Tim Perry.

An aide told ABC News that Harris and her husband tested negative for COVID-19 Thursday.

Separate town hall events

Biden and President Donald Trump participated in separate town hall events Thursday evening. They were originally set to meet on the debate stage, but the president backed out after the Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week it would be held virtually for safety reasons.

Trump and others in the White House and his campaign had tested positive for COVID-19 the week before, sparking concerns about him participating in an in-person debate.

The Biden campaign has largely focused on the COVID-19 pandemic following the president’s positive test. The vice presidential debate last week hinged on the coronavirus, with Harris bringing up the administration’s response multiple times.

‘Non-campaign’ events

The campaign is contact tracing to determine who else may have been exposed.

Both people who tested positive attended “personal, non-campaign” events in the past week, the statement says, and both were required to be tested upon returning to work with the campaign.

Before the events, they were both on a flight with Harris on Oct. 8, during which all three wore an N-95 mask and social distanced, the statement says. They both tested negative for the virus before and after the flight.

“All other members of our staff on the flight have also taken routine tests since October 8th (two to three PCRs each); all of these tests have also been negative,” the statement says.

Doug Emhoff, Harris’ husband, will cancel in-person campaigning until Friday.

“From the outset of this pandemic, the Biden-Harris campaign has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19,” the statement says. “Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that commitment.”


(c) 2020 The News & Observer

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