“Earlier today, a second gentleman tested positive for Govt-19,” said Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary to Vice President Kamala Harris. “Due to the warning, the Vice President will not attend the event tonight. The Vice President conducted a negative test for Govt-19 today and will continue to test.”
The first known case of Govt-19 in the first or second families after the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Harris in January 2021 was a positive test for Mhoff.
A White House official told CNN that Emhoff “did not experience any symptoms before his morning events” but had “mild symptoms this afternoon.”
“He took an antigen test and tested negative. With extreme caution he took the PCR test and tested positive,” the official told CNN.
Harris was to attend the Equal Pay Day event at the White House on Tuesday evening, when the results of Mhoff’s test were released. As a possible indication of how the vice president was kicked out of the event at the last minute, there was an empty chair for him on stage for the equal pay day event. The White House’s Twitter account advertised Harris’ upcoming comments in a news release on ET at 6pm, shortly before the event began.
Commenting on Harris’ absence from the event, Biden said, “Kamala chose not to take a chance because he tested positive – she’s fine, but with extreme caution, she decided not to join.”
White House press secretary Jen Zhaki said earlier this week that the president was last tested on Sunday and tested negative. CNN has asked the White House for more information on when the next president will be tested.
Earlier on Tuesday, Emhoff visited a communal garden in the country’s capital for an event. The second gentleman gardens outside during the event.
CNN has asked the White House for comment on when Mhoff last contacted Pitton and for more information on his trial. A White House official said Biden was not in close contact with the second man.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, fully vaccinated people can “avoid isolation following asymptomatic exposure.” Harris, like her husband, is fully vaccinated and encouraged.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.
Paul LeBlanc of CNN contributed to this report.
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