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Gridiron president says 53 people contracted COVID-19 after dinner

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Gridiron President Tom DeFrank said on Friday that 53 individuals who attended the annual Gridiron Club dinner last Saturday had told the organization they tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement comes a week after several high profile figures who attended the dinner said they tested positive for the virus. 

Among those who tested positive include Vice President Harris’s Communications Director Jamal Simmons, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).

Other staffers and journalists who attended the dinner have also tested positive for the coronavirus.

“All guests at the Gridiron Club dinner were required to show proof of vaccination. We understand that some of our guests have reported positive tests since the dinner. We wish them a speedy recovery,” DeFrank previously told The Hill in a statement.

The dinner was also attended by other high-profile political figures such as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, special presidential envoy John Kerry, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, White House press secretary Jen Psaki and Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell.

Positive COVID-19 tests have been commonplace this past week on Capitol Hill, regardless of attendance at the dinner. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tested positive for the virus along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who was on the Senate floor just hours before she announced her test result. 

President Biden has not been considered a close contact of anyone with COVID-19 and has tested negative throughout the week. 

Most individuals who have tested positive have had the COVID-19 vaccine and are experiencing mild or no symptoms. 

Tags Anthony Fauci COVID-19 Gina Raimondo Gridiron Jamal Simmons Joe Biden John Kerry Kamala Harris Merrick Garland Rochelle Walensky Susan Collins Tom Vilsack

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