Kamala Harris Tests Positive for COVID: 'No Symptoms,' Will Quarantine at Naval Observatory Residence

The vice president's spokeswoman said she had not recently been a "close contact" of either President Joe Biden or First Lady Dr. Jill Biden

Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty

Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for COVID-19 but is not showing symptoms and was not recently a close contact of either President Joe Biden or First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, her office said Tuesday.

A Harris spokeswoman announced Harris' diagnosis in a statement to reporters, saying she had "tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests" earlier Tuesday.

"She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from" her residence at the Naval Observatory, the spokeswoman said.

"She will follow [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines and the advice of her physicians," the spokeswoman said, adding that she planned to return to the White House once she was testing negative. (Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's plans were not immediately clear in the wake of Harris' diagnosis; a spokeswoman for him did not respond to an email.)

Harris, 57, like the president and numerous other prominent government officials, is both vaccinated against COVID and has received a booster shot, greatly reducing her risk of serious illness, hospitalization or death.

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Still, the contagiousness of the respiratory virus has never strayed too far from the administration, even as its health threat has diminished with vaccines: Various aides continue to test positive, causing periodic disruptions to the West Wing, and the return of large-scale Washington, D.C., events has been eyed as another factor in some infections.

For example, a number of positive cases were linked to the Gridiron Dinner earlier this month.

President Biden, multiple Cabinet secretaries and other prominent figures are expected to attend the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner on Saturday, which is returning — with restrictions — after a two-year cancellation due to the pandemic.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki — who herself has twice tested positive for COVID — recently acknowledged officials have considered Biden, 79, being infected.

"He has access to the best healthcare and medical care in the world. They have assessed the risk is worth him going out and traveling this week in the country in doing that," she said at a CSPAN event earlier this month. "They have assessed and we know that he can be president wherever he is. That is what the United States prepares any president for."

Psaki noted then that Biden had received a second vaccine booster, in March, affording him extra protection and she promised the administration would be candid should he test positive.

"There are lots of means to communicate with the public. Nothing more in detail here, but what I will tell you is we wanted to be clear and transparent with the public that he could test positive for COVID," she said. "He does have access to the best health and medical care. There is no secret drug he's taking. He's not immunocompromised."

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