Vice President Kamala Harris tested negative for the coronavirus after meeting with infected Democratic legislators from Texas — and isn’t being isolated from President Biden, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.
Psaki’s remarks came after Harris’ spokeswoman said late Saturday that the vice president didn’t need testing because she never got close enough to be exposed to the deadly disease.
During her daily briefing, Psaki was asked whether there’s “any safety concern about [Harris] spending time around the president until a certain amount of time has passed.”
“Well, first, I would say that I think the vice president’s office put out that she was tested and that … there was no detection of COVID-19,” Psaki said.
“They also put out some specific details about their proximity to the individuals who tested positive as well. We take these precautions incredibly seriously and abide by … the guidance of our health and medical experts.”
Psaki also said that it was “important for everybody to know that the vice president was tested” and that “she, of course, takes these precautions seriously.”
Following Psaki’s remarks, Harris’ office confirmed that she tested negative before a Sunday visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Vice President Kamala Harris tested negative for COVID-19 after meeting with infected Democratic legislators and isn’t being isolated from Joe Biden.AFP via Getty Images
Psaki declined to elaborate on White House’s earlier characterization of Harris’ appointment as “routine,” saying that it was “scheduled for several weeks, long before the visit of the Texas legislators.”
On Saturday night, Harris spokeswoman Symone Sanders issued a statement that said the vice president didn’t need COVID-19 testing despite having met Wednesday with Democrats who fled the Lone Star State on May 30 to prevent a vote on a Republican-backed, election-reform bill.
At the time, three of the Texas lawmakers had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Based on the timeline of these positive tests, it was determined the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined,” Sanders said.
Two more Texas Democrats have since tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total to five, the director of their caucus said late Sunday. All five said they were fully vaccinated.
Psaki’s remarks came after Harris’ spokeswoman said that the vice president didn’t need testing because she never got close enough to be exposed to COVID-19.ZUMA24.com
Also during Monday’s briefing, Psaki said Biden was continuing to meet in the same room with Harris.
“There haven’t been additional precautions taken, no,” she said.
Both Biden and Harris have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and each got their first shots on live television.