Biden adviser Richmond tests positive for COVID-19
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), a close adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, has tested positive for coronavirus, the Biden transition team said Thursday.
Biden is not considered a close contact of Richmond’s based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the transition said. Biden took a coronavirus test Thursday and tested negative.
Richmond traveled to Georgia with Biden for campaign events Tuesday, but their interactions “happened in open air, were masked and totaled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact. Richmond traveled to Georgia on his own and not with the President-elect,” transition spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said in a statement.
Richmond originally tested positive using a rapid test on Wednesday after he developed symptoms, the transition said. A second test Thursday confirmed the diagnosis.
“Richmond will quarantine for a period of 14 days and will produce two negative PCR tests before he returns to any in-person work in Congress or on the transition,” Bedingfield said.
The transition team said two individuals who drove Richmond’s car during the Georgia trip have gone into quarantine, but no members of the Biden staff or campaign teams for Jon Ossoff or the Rev. Raphael Warnock are considered close contacts, nor are Stacey Abrams or Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who attended the rally.
Richmond is the closest person to Biden to test positive for the virus to date. The congressman’s positive test was announced a day after the transition team shared that a reporter who had traveled with Biden to Georgia had tested positive for the virus. That positive test forced a Biden press staffer to go into quarantine, though reporters traveled on a separate plane from Biden.
Richmond is the latest member of Congress to contract COVID-19. Four other House members have also said in the last few days that they tested positive for COVID-19: Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.).
The Louisiana congressman was a top adviser to the Biden campaign, and he is slated to join the Biden White House in a similar advisory role.
The 47-year-old has represented Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses most of New Orleans, since 2011.