A spokesperson for Joe Biden has confirmed that one of the president-elect’s top advisers has tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to Breitbart, Biden spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said in a statement that Biden was not in close contact with Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Louisana Democrat who reportedly developed symptoms of the coronavirus on Wednesday.
“Richmond’s interactions with the President-elect happened in open air, were masked and totaled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact,” Bedingfield said, as Breitbart reported. “Richmond traveled to Georgia on his own and not with the President-elect.”
Positives and negatives
As Breitbart noted, Richmond’s diagnosis marked the second time COVID-19 has hit the Biden camp this week.
The outlet reported that an “unnamed reporter” had tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling with Biden to Georgia on Tuesday, where he stumped for a pair of Democrat Senate hopefuls ahead of the state’s Jan. 5 runoffs.
“Today, a member of the press pool who traveled with the President-elect yesterday received a positive PCR test for Covid-19,” Biden’s transition team said in a statement, according to Breitbart. “We initiated contact tracing protocols immediately, and this person was not ever in close contact as defined by the CDC with the President-elect.”
Speaking later in the week, Bedingfield confirmed that Biden has continued to test negative for the disease himself.
“President-elect Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected,” Bedingfield said in her recent statement, according to Breitbart.
Bedingfield’s remarks may not be enough, however, to quell speculation about Biden’s health. In a speech after the Electoral College voted to solidify his win on Monday, Biden coughed and cleared his throat repeatedly.
The former vice president was later forced to admit that he had “a little bit of a cold,” as Breitbart reported separately.
According to USA Today, Biden is set to receive a vaccine for the coronavirus sometime next week, and members of his team are likely to soon follow.
In the United States, some 17.4 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the beginning of this year, according to a tracker from The New York Times. More than 300,000 Americans have died.