With just over two weeks until Election Day, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has hit a coronavirus-related snag.
Weeks after President Donald Trump’s re-election bid was temporarily halted due to his own COVID-19 infection and others among his inner circle, Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is suspending her upcoming travel plans after two staffers tested positive for the virus, as reported by the Washington Times.
COVID-19 strikes both campaigns
A statement announcing the latest development came from the Biden campaign on Thursday.
According to reports, Harris’ communications director, Liz Allen, and a “non-staff flight crew member” were the two individuals who received positive coronavirus test results.
Although Harris reportedly continues to test negative and did not come into close contact with either of the individuals in the 48-hour period before they tested positive, she is clearing her campaign calendar of all in-person events scheduled through Sunday.
According to Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, the former vice president has practiced recommended safety procedures throughout the campaign. Since he is not believed to be at risk and has tested negative multiple times, he is not in isolation.
While Harris was on a flight with both individuals earlier this month, she was reportedly never within six feet of them for more than 15 minutes and everyone was wearing a face mask.
“Strict level of seriousness”
“Our doctors believe that we were not exposed under [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines,” the senator said.
Harris had been slated to make campaign appearances in North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas during that period. Contact tracing also revealed that a charter flight crew member who flew with Biden earlier in the week also tested positive, though the nominee was cleared to continue campaigning because he was reportedly not in close proximity to any of the infected staffers.
“We wanted to make sure that we were adhering to what has been, I think, a very appropriate and strict level of seriousness around the caution that we are exercising to make sure everyone is safe,” Harris added.
During a campaign rally in North Carolina on Thursday, the president wished Harris and her staff well.
“We extend our best wishes,” he said. “Which is more than they did to me, but that’s OK.”