WASHINGTON — Two people involved in the campaign of Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19.
Senator Harris did not have close contact with either person for two days prior to their positive tests, but she plans to cancel weekend campaigning events through Sunday, Oct. 18 as a precaution, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign wrote in a statement released Thursday morning.
Harris’ communications director, Liz Allen, and a non-staff flight crew member, both tested positive for the disease late Wednesday night, the campaign said.
Harris shared a flight with both individuals on Oct. 8th, but the campaign said she has tested negative twice since that time, including on Wednesday, Oct. 14th.
“During the flight, Senator Harris wore an N95 mask, as did both individuals,” the campaign said. “She was not within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with either of them. As such, she does not meet the CDC definition of ‘close contact’ for exposure. In addition, both before and after the flight both individuals tested negative.”
The news arrives less than three weeks before election day, and as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the race. Coronavirus cases are rising in many parts of the United States, and the country is bracing for what health experts warn will be a difficult winter season when more cases are likely to emerge. Concerns have raged over the health of the top candidates as they campaign ahead of the Nov. 3rd election — especially after the White House became a hotspot earlier this month, sending President Trump into the hospital for several days to battle his own case of the disease.
Trump then returned to holding massive, largely mask-free rallies in states that have been hammered by the virus after his hospitalization. The Biden team has been far more cautious.
Harris now plans to spend the next few days campaigning virtually.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in line with our campaign’s commitment to the highest levels of precaution, we are canceling Senator Harris’s travel through Sunday, October 18th, but she will keep a robust and aggressive schedule of virtual campaign activities,” the campaign said. “She will return to in-person campaigning on Monday, October 19th.”
The Biden campaign’s announcement of the positive tests also contrasted sharply with the way Trump has handled disclosing information about the eruption of dozens of positive cases inside his own White House.
Trump has refused to disclose personal health details and sent his doctors out to give misleading statements about the progression of his illness. News about positive cases in the White House have often leaked to the media before they were announced formally by the White House.