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Vice President Kamala Harris Tests Positive for Covid, Is Not Exhibiting Symptoms

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  • Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, her office said
  • Harris is not showing symptoms and has not been in close contact with President Joe Biden or first lady Jill Biden, the vice president's press secretary said.
  • Harris, 57, "will isolate and continue to work from the vice president's residence," her press secretary, Kirsten Allen, said in a statement.

Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, her office said, noting that she didn't have any symptoms and hadn't been in close contact with the president or first lady.

Harris, 57, "will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President's residence," her press secretary, Kirsten Allen, said in a statement.

Harris is the highest-ranking official in the White House to contract Covid. President Joe Biden has so far avoided the virus, even after coming into close proximity with numerous government officials who later tested positive.

Harris is not considered a close contact to Biden or first lady Jill Biden "due to their respective recent travel schedules," Allen's statement said.

The vice president, the first in line of presidential succession, is fully vaccinated against Covid, and received her second booster shot earlier this month.

Harris tested positive for Covid on both rapid and PCR tests, her office said, adding that she will return to the White House when she tests negative.

The vice president's diagnosis comes amid an uptick in Covid cases in the U.S. in recent weeks, which in some areas appears to be driven by the new omicron subvariant BA.2. The upward trend, while far below the peak spread of the virus during the winter months, has led some officials to keep some social distancing measures in place.

Earlier Tuesday, Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Ron Wyden of Oregon announced that they had tested positive for Covid and were feeling mild symptoms.

Those test results raised the question of whether Senate Democrats will have enough votes to confirm some nominees they had planned to consider this week.

The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, giving Harris the tie-breaking vote. She has wielded that power 17 times, the most of any vice president since Schuyler Colfax of the Ulysses S. Grant administration, which ended in 1873.

A vote to advance the nomination of Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve board is expected to fail Tuesday due to the positive Covid tests, according to a senior Senate Democratic aide. The chamber is also set to delay its consideration of Alvaro Bedoya to be a Federal Trade Commission member, the aide said.

The Senate is still set to confirm Lael Brainard, Biden's nominee to be vice chair of the Fed, on Tuesday after multiple Republicans backed her bid in a procedural vote Monday.

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