WASHINGTON – A White House staff member and senior communications assistant to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated, a White House official confirmed on Tuesday and a spokesperson for the Californian Democrat.
Pelosi’s aide was diagnosed after coming into contact with members of the Texas Legislature last week, said president’s spokesman Drew Hammill.
The assistant “has had no contact with the speaker since the show,” Hammill said. In addition, the entire press office was working remotely on Tuesday, with the exception of those who had not been exposed to the assistant or who recently tested negative, he said.
Axios, who was the first to report the infections, said the White House staff member attended an event with Pelosi’s help last week.
The White House official said the White House Medical Unit had conducted contact tracing interviews and determined that there had been “no close contact between directors and White House staff.” and that the person had mild symptoms.
The official stressed that the so-called breakthrough infections of those who have been vaccinated are to be expected and that the mild symptoms the helper is experiencing are an indication that the vaccines are working.
“This is another reminder of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against serious illness or hospitalization,” the official said.
The Texan delegation fled en masse to Washington on July 12 in an attempt to block passage of a restrictive GOP voting bill, aimed at staying out until the end of the special session called by Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
A sixth member of the Texas delegation to Washington, DC, tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday, a spokesperson for lawmakers told NBC News.
Cara Santucci, spokeswoman for the Texas House Democrats, confirmed the case and said the undisclosed member is self-isolating.
Santucci had said last week that the delegation would provide daily rapid tests to its members and their employees who are in the nation’s Capitol. But in a statement released on Monday, she said the delegation would no longer publish a daily number of Covid cases.