Pelosi positive for COVID, day after Biden White House event

The White House said Biden and Pelosi had only “brief interactions over the course of the last two days” and that the president was not considered a close contact.

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tested positive for COVID-19, a day after appearing unmasked at a White House event with President Joe Biden.

Pelosi received a positive test result for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic, her spokesman Drew Hammill said Thursday in a tweet. He said she had tested negative earlier in the week.

“The Speaker is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is thankful for the robust protection the vaccine has provided,” Hammill said. Pelosi, he said, will “quarantine consistent with CDC guidance, and encourages everyone to get vaccinated, boosted and test regularly.”

The White House said Biden and Pelosi had only “brief interactions over the course of the last two days” and that the president was not considered a close contact of the speaker by CDC guidance — sustained unmasked contact within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.

“Last night as a part of his regular testing cadence, the President tested negative,” the White House said in a statement. “He will continue to be tested regularly. The President wishes Speaker Pelosi a speedy recovery.”

The 82-year-old Democratic leader’s announcement came ahead of her weekly press appearance on Capitol Hill, which was abruptly called off. The House is set to start a two week spring recess.

Pelosi also postponed a planned congressional delegation trip to Asia she was scheduled to lead.

Washington has experienced a rush of new COVID-19 cases as restrictions have lifted and more events and gatherings are happening across Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced positive tests. The officials were among more than a dozen attendees of the Saturday night Gridiron Club dinner to test positive for the virus. Pelosi did not attend the dinner, her spokesman said.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also announced Thursday that she tested positive for COVID-19 and would “work at home while following isolation protocols.”

Several lawmakers have announced positive test results and are isolating.

The Capitol reopened last week to some public tours for the first time since it was shuttered two years ago with the onset of the pandemic.

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