Two individuals with ties to Joe Biden’s campaign tested positive for COVID, the campaign announced Thursday, resulting in upcoming travel for Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff to be cancelled.
The two individuals tested positive on Wednesday. They were a non-staff flight crew member and Liz Allen, Harris’ communications director, said Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillion in a statement.
‘Neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results,’ Dillon said.
Biden is expected to proceed with his scheduled town hall in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Both of the infected individuals were on a flight with Harris on October 8th, the day after the vice presidential debate, when she traveled to Arizona to campaign with Biden. The campaign said the infected staffers tested negative before and after the flight.
Harris and Biden spent several hours together that day in campaign events both public and private. Biden’s last announced negative test was Tuesday.
The infected individuals were on a flight with Senator Kamala Harris on October 8 – on that date Harris traveled to Arizona to participate in campaign events with Joe Biden
In announcing the positive test results, Biden’s campaign laid out the situation in a lengthy, detailed memo sent out as a press release – a contrast to the limited information the White House provided regarding President Donald Trump’s positive COVID test.
The Trump administration has been criticized for not providing the date of the last time the president tested negative before his positive diagnosis.
Additionally, Biden consistently wears a face mask – in contrast to President Trump – and has held small campaign events with social distancing and mask wearing in contrast to the president’s packed, outdoor campaign rallies.
The Biden campaign has touted its safety measures while the Trump campaign says it’s a personal choice to wear a face mask or not.
But while neither Harris nor Emhoff met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition for close contact, the campaign said their upcoming events would be canceled out of caution.
‘Harris was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with either of these individuals during the two days prior to their positive tests; as such, there is no requirement for quarantine. Regardless, out of an abundance of caution and in line with our campaign’s commitment to the highest levels of precaution, we are canceling Senator Harris’s travel through Sunday, October 18th,’ Dillon said in her statement.
Harris will be back out on the campaign trail on Monday, October 19.
She was scheduled to campaign in North Carolina on Thursday. Harris participated in Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings in the Senate this week but she worked from her Senate office and piped into the committee via camera.
The senator took two PCR COVID tests since the October 8th flight and both were negative, with the last negative result Wednesday, October 14th, according to the campaign.
Two individuals with ties to Joe Biden’s campaign tested positive for COVID, resulting in Senator Kamala Harris’ upcoming travel to be canceled; she has tested negative
Liz Allen, Kamala Harris’ communications director, was one of the people infected with COVID
During the October 8 flight, Harris wore an N95 mask, as did both individuals. She was not within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with either of them.
Emhoff has had three PCR COVID tests since October 8th and all have been negative.
He had no contact at any time with the two individuals, and given both his and Harris’s negative testing, he has not been exposed, the campaign said.
He will return to in-person campaigning on Friday, October 16th. He was scheduled to campaign with Jill Biden in Minnesota on Thursday.
The campaign detailed how the positive staffers were detected and the protocols put in place to protect the candidates and staff.
‘After being with Senator Harris, both individuals attended personal, non-campaign events in the past week. Under our campaign’s strict health protocols, both individuals had to be tested before returning to their work with the campaign from these personal events,’ Dillon noted.
Doug Emhoff had his campaign events for Thursday canceled out of caution; he has tested negative for COVID
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Phoenix on October 8 – Biden is expected to go through with his town hall on Thursday evening
The campaign has begun the contact tracing process to notify everyone who came into contact with the individuals during the potential infection window.
‘From the outset of this pandemic, the Biden-Harris campaign has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that commitment,’ Dillon said.