Pelosi Tests Positive for COVID-19 Hours After Being in Contact With Biden

Pelosi Tests Positive for COVID-19 Hours After Being in Contact With Biden
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks to reporters in Washington in a file image. (Pedro Ugarte/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesman announced on April 7.

“After testing negative this week, Speaker Pelosi received a positive test result for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic,” Drew Hammill, the spokesman, said in a statement.

Pelosi is quarantining in adherence with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pelosi has received a primary vaccination series and a booster, but the three vaccines in the United States are increasingly unable to prevent infection following the emergence of the Omicron variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

Pelosi, 82, had a press conference scheduled Thursday before the diagnosis.

One of the oldest members of Congress, the Democrat is considered at high risk of contracting a severe case of the illness because of her advanced age.

So is President Joe Biden, 79, who was close to Pelosi during an event on Wednesday.

Pelosi was within inches of Biden as he signed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 at the White House in Washington.

According to the CDC, a person is considered a close contact if they were less than 6 feet away from an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.

Close contacts are recommended to quarantine if they are not “up-to-date” on their vaccinations. If they are, they are told they do not need to isolate unless they develop symptoms.

Even if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they are advised to get tested at least five days following the contact.

The White House said in a statement that Biden is not a close contact because he had only “brief interactions” with the House speaker in the past two days.

The White House also said Biden tested negative on Wednesday night.

Other top officials in Washington have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.

Attorney General Merrick Garland tested positive on Wednesday shortly after holding an event with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Lisa Monaco, Garland’s deputy.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and House Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) also tested positive, as did Jamal Simmons, communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris.

Simmons was in close contact with Harris, according to the White House.

While Simmons was isolating and working from home, Harris did not plan on doing so, the White House indicated.

The vast majority of COVID-19 cases involve no or mild symptoms, but a small number lead to severe disease. A small percentage of patients go to hospitals and die.