Vice President of The United States, Kamala Harris has tested positive for COVID-19 the White House announced Tuesday. Her office said Tuesday night that she was taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug which reduces the risk of COVID hospitalization by 90%.
Harris’ positive test does have one immediate short-term political ramification: the Senate is rescheduling at least one nomination vote set for Tuesday because she wouldn’t be available because she is isolated at home.
Kamala Harris becomes the highest-profile U.S. leader to contract the coronavirus since former President Donald Trump in 2020. On Thursday, April 7 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is also vaccinated and boosted, announced she had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Kamala Harris was fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine, and has since been boosted twice — the best precautions to minimize the risk of getting seriously ill from COVID,” the White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr Ashish Jha said.
Meanwhile, CDC cuts the recommended isolation and quarantine periods for coronavirus infections.
Data shows that the majority of coronavirus transmission “occurs early in the course of illness,” the CDC explained — generally in the one or two days before symptoms begin and two or three days after.
“Therefore, people who test positive should isolate for 5 days and, if asymptomatic at that time, they may leave isolation if they can continue to mask for 5 days to minimize the risk of infecting others,” the CDC said in a statement.
The Biden administration, which has come under pressure for not increasing the widespread availability of at-home tests, last week rolled out a plan to set up federal testing across the country. The government will also buy a half-billion at-home COVID test kits and mail them out. But deliveries won’t start until January.