White House’s Kate Bedingfield tests positive for COVID

White Houses Kate Bedingfield tests positive for COVID

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield tested positive for the coronavirus Friday morning, only three days after Vice President Kamala Harris also contracted the virus. 

Bedingfield announced her positive test result on Twitter, revealing that she last met with President Biden on Wednesday however it was during a “socially-distanced meeting.” 

“This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19,” she wrote. “I last saw the President Wednesday in a socially-distanced meeting while wearing an N-95 mask, and he is not considered a close contact as defined by the CDC.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for COVID for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

“Thanks to being fully vaccinated and boosted, I am only experiencing mild symptoms,” Bedingfield continued in a second tweet. “In alignment with White House COVID-19 protocols, I will work from home and plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of a five-day isolation period and a negative test.” 

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield announced she has tested positive for COVID-19.
AFP via Getty Images

This spring, the White House has been plagued with several positive coronavirus test results hitting everywhere from the press team to the vice president’s office and home. 

In March, press secretary Jen Psaki and deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre both tested positive for COVID-19. While Psaki tested positive ahead of President Biden’s trip to Europe, Jean-Pierre revealed her positive result following the trip – which she accompanied the president on. 

At the time, the White House claimed Biden was not a close contact of Jean-Pierre and said he tested negative.  

The same month, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff contracted the virus. 

Earlier in April, Harris’ communications director Jamal Simmons tested positive following the Gridiron dinner – which has since been labeled as a superspreader event. 

Several administration officials including Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack were also among the attendees who tested positive. 

Vice President Kamala Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris has also tested positive for COVID-19.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Most recently, Harris’ office announced she contracted the virus on Tuesday, after a week-long trip in California. 

“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests,” her press secretary Kirsten Allen said in a statement. 

“She has not been a close contact to the President or first lady due to their respective recent travel schedules. She will follow CDC guidelines and the advice of her physicians.”

.S. President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Assistant to the President and Director of Communications Kate Bedingfield and other staff take off in Marine One for travel to Baltimore from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 21, 2021.
Kate Bedingfield (2nd from left) last met with President Biden on Wednesday, but said it was a “socially distanced” meeting.

Allen noted that the vice president has not exhibited any symptoms and will continue to isolate and work from her residence. 

“The Vice President will return to the White House when she tests negative,” the statement read. 

The president tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday. 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tested positive for COVID-19 in March, 2022.
Getty Images

In recent weeks, the White House has lifted several coronavirus-implemented measures such as mask requirements and restrictions on large gatherings. 

On Tuesday, Psaki indicated that she did not expect any update to coronavirus protocols within the White House in light of the vice president’s positive test result, saying the administration adheres to regular testing and socially distanced meetings. 

“Those have been in place prior to today, and we will continue to abide by those moving forward,” she told reporters.

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