Commerce secretary, House Democrats test positive for COVID-19 breakthrough cases

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo addresses reporters after a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting where they discussed the America COMPETES Act regarding supply chain and semiconductor shortages on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.
Greg Nash

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) tested positive for a COVID-19 breakthrough cases on Wednesday.

The Commerce Department announced Raimondo’s positive test in a statement Wednesday morning. The secretary, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, is experiencing mild symptoms.

Raimondo will isolate and work from home for five days. She will return to the office once she tests negative for COVID-19, the department said.

“Today, after experiencing mild symptoms, Secretary Raimondo tested positive for COVID using an at-home antigen test,” the Commerce Department wrote. “She is fully-vaccinated and boosted, and she is confident that the vaccine has prevented her from experiencing more significant symptoms. She is sharing the news of her positive test out of an abundance of transparency.”

Clark said on Twitter Wednesday morning that she also tested positive for the virus. The assistant Speaker said she is vaccinated, boosted and experiencing mild symptoms. She said she will quarantine in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Today, I tested positive for COVID-19. I am vaccinated and boosted, experiencing mild symptoms, and will quarantine in line with CDC guidance. I am grateful to our health care professionals and researchers who have given us the tools to manage this deadly virus. Get vaccinated!” Clark wrote.

Peters said that he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a breakthrough case of the virus on Wednesday despite testing negative a day prior.

“This morning, I tested positive for COVID after testing negative as recently as yesterday. I’m feeling fine —  thanks to being vaccinated & boosted. I’m continuing to follow CDC guidance & will be isolating for the next several days. My office remains fully operational,” Peters said. 

Raimondo, Clark and Peters are the latest high-profile Washington figures to test positive for COVID-19. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced on Tuesday evening that he tested positive for a breakthrough case.

Raimondo and Schiff both attended the Gridiron Club dinner on Saturday night, according to reports from the event. The annual event is known for presenting roasts and skits knocking politics and other figures.

The commerce secretary was reportedly the final performance to take the stage at the dinner. Clark did not attend the event, according to a House Democratic aide.

CIA Director William Burns also announced last week that he contracted the virus.

The CDC says that while breakthrough cases are “expected,” fully vaccinated people who test positive for the virus are less likely to have serious symptoms than those who have not gotten the jab.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has been on the decline since mid-January, when the country saw a spike in infections driven largely by the highly transmissible omicron variant. In recent days, the number of new cases has remained relatively steady with around 25,500 infections per day, according to the CDC.

Updaed at 5:34 p.m.

Tags Adam Schiff breakthrough infections Coronavirus Gina Raimondo Gina Raimondo Katherine Clark Katherine Clark Scott Peters William Burns
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