House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to her deputy chief of staff. The speaker is fully vaccinated against the virus and has received a booster shot.
“After testing negative this week, Speaker Pelosi received a positive test result for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic. The Speaker is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is thankful for the robust protection the vaccine has provided,” Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill tweeted on Thursday.
“The Speaker will quarantine consistent with CDC guidance, and encourages everyone to get vaccinated, boosted and test regularly,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Pelosi’s diagnosis comes just one day after two members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet – Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo – tested positive for the virus.
Garland and Raimondo were among those who attended the elite Gridiron Club Dinner over the weekend in Washington, D.C. Several other top democrats announced positive tests in the wake of the event, including Reps. Joaquin Castro and Adam Schiff, CNN reported.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ communication director Jamal Simmons and Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, also revealed positive tests after attending the dinner.
“As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, we know of 14 guests at Saturday’s dinner who have tested positive for Covid. There is no way of being certain about when they first contracted Covid,” Gridiron Club president Tom DeFrank said.
“But they did interact with other guests during the night and we have to be realistic and expect some more cases,” he continued. “Except in cases of public officials who have on their own disclosed their status, we will protect the privacy of guests who test positive.”
The White House released a statement on Wednesday noting that Ms. Harris was in close contact with Simmons prior to his positive test.
“Jamal Simmons, the Vice President’s Communications Director, tested positive for COVID-19 today. Jamal was in close contact to the Vice President as defined by CDC guidance. Jamal is isolating and working from home,” the statement read. “The Vice President will follow CDC guidance for those that have been in close contact with a positive individual and will continue to consult with her physician. The Vice President plans to continue with her public schedule.”
Also on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared that “COVID is not over,” and argued that the “virus is not waiting for Republicans in Congress to get their act together” as the administration pushes for additional pandemic response funding.
“So we’re going to continue to work closely with Congress to drive to a solution, because the President knows that we can’t afford inaction in this moment. It’s going to require politicians stopping — to stop skirting their responsibility to the American people,” Psaki said. “COVID is not over, and we have an obligation to protect our country, the American people, and make sure we’re taking steps to prepare.”