White House and Congress hit with breakthrough Covid infections – US politics live | US news
What up, liveblog readers. Happy Wednesday. You’re halfway there.
We learned yesterday that a White House official tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with a staffer for House speaker Nancy Pelosi who tested positive after escorting some Texas Democrats who tested positive this weekend.
All parties involved had been vaccinated. These are called breakthrough infections or breakthrough cases: when a person who has completed all recommended doses of a vaccine tests positive.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later disclosed that there have been other breakthrough cases among White House staff, but did not have the exact number. A memo from the attending physician at the US Capitol also disclosed that “several vaccinated Congressional staff” and “one member of Congress” have tested positive.
The news of these breakthrough cases in Washington comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus tears through the rest of the country. The Delta variant accounts for 83% of all sequenced cases in the US, according to Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts and officials are saying these breakthrough cases are underscoring the importance of vaccinations: everyone who has tested positive in Washington are either displaying mild or no symptoms, meaning there will be less of run on hospitals beds and medical services if more people inoculate themselves against the virus.
Infection rates are currently highest where vaccination rates are the lowest. Maya Yang has more on the Delta variant here:
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