A White House official and an aide for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 even though both people had been vaccinated.
“Yesterday, a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for COVID-19 off campus,” a White House official told Axios.
“The White House Medical Unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined no close contacts among White House principals and staff.”
The official will remain off-site until they receive a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction test.
The White House official and Pelosi’s staffer were both at the same rooftop reception last week.
The staffer had also helped lead a delegation of Democratic Texas lawmakers around the Capitol last week, six of whom have since tested positive for COVID-19.
“The entire press office is working remotely today with the exception of individuals who have had no exposure to the individual or have had a recent negative test,” deputy chief of staff to Pelosi, Drew Hammill told Axios.
“Our office will continue to follow the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician closely.”
Both individuals are mildly symptomatic, but the cases show that inoculated Americans can still potentially contract and transmit the virus.
“We know that there will be breakthrough cases, but as this instance shows, cases in vaccinated individuals are typically mild,” a White House official told Axios.
COVID-19 cases are rising across the country with health officials worried about the significantly more infectious Delta variant.
In response, Los Angeles County officials reinstated mask guidance until they “better understand how and to who the Delta variant is spreading.”
Most unvaccinated Americans still say they are unlikely to get the shot, according to the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
“No vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people,” the CDC said.
“There is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick.”
As of July 12, 159 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
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