Kamala Harris suspends campaign travel after two members of her traveling party test positive for COVID-19

Kamala Harris

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Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris is canceling her campaign travel through Sunday, after two people in her campaign traveling party tested positive for COVID-19.

The Biden campaign announced in a Thursday statement that Harris’ communications director Liz Allen and a flight crew member, who is not on her campaign staff, recently tested positive for the disease.

Harris was not in “close contact” with either of the people in the 48 hours before their positive test results and thus does not need to quarantine under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, the Biden campaign said, but Harris will still hold off on traveling and do virtual events instead “out of an abundance of caution.”

Harris, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been participating in the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett remotely, via videoconference. The campaign said she will resume in-person campaigning on September 19.

The campaign said that Harris was most recently on a flight with the two individuals who tested positive on October 8, during which she wore a mask and stayed six feet apart from the two people who tested positive. 

Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, who joins her on the campaign trail, are regularly tested for COVID-19, with Harris most recently testing negative on Wednesday, October 14, the campaign stated.

Because he did not come into any contact with those who tested positive, Emhoff will resume in-person campaigning on Friday, October 16. The campaign will also conduct contact tracing to alert other campaign staff who could have been exposed to the two that tested positive. 

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The COVID-19 pandemic has roiled the final weeks of the 2020 presidential campaign, with both President Donald Trump, members of his staff, and now the Biden campaign having a staffer in their ranks test positive for COVID-19. 

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump announced they had tested positive for COVID-19 on October 2. Shortly after, a number of White House staffers and other high-profile individuals who attended a September 26 event at the Rose Garden announcing Barrett’s nomination to the US Supreme Court also announced testing positive for the disease. 

The White House was heavily criticized both for the outbreak occurring in the first place and for, at many points, its lack of transparency in revealing to the public key details on who had tested positive and important information about Trump’s health condition. 

Trump testing positive also upended the plans for the second presidential debate between Biden and Trump, a townhall-style event moderated by C-SPAN’s Steve Scully that was set to take place October 15 in Miami, Florida.

The Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the debate after the Trump and Biden camps came to an impasse over whether it should be virtual or be held with additional safety precautions due to Trump’s positive COVID-19 test. 

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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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