Kamala Harris’s comms director tests positive for COVID-19
Vice President Harris’s communications director tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, marking a close contact exposure to the vice president who will continue with her public schedule as planned.
Jamal Simmons, who joined Harris’s staff earlier this year, is isolating and working from home, Harris’s press secretary, Kirsten Allen, said in a statement.
“The Vice President will follow CDC guidance for those that have been in close contact with a positive individual and will continue to consult with her physician,” Allen said. “The Vice President plans to continue with her public schedule.”
The CDC defines a close contact as someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected individual for more than 15 minutes.
Simmons is the latest member of Harris’s circle to test positive in recent weeks. Second gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for the virus last month, though Harris never tested positive herself, according to the White House.
The communications director’s positive test was the latest to be revealed on Wednesday amid what appeared to be a fresh outbreak among top officials, lawmakers and media members in the nation’s capital.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who both attended the annual Gridiron Dinner over the weekend, tested positive earlier Wednesday. Reps. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who also attended the dinner, have also since tested positive. Simmons was also in attendance.
Another half-dozen journalists and members of the White House and National Security Council staff also said they tested positive, according to a report by The Washington Post.
President Biden was not considered a close contact of the Cabinet members to test positive, but he appeared next to Harris at an event on Tuesday.