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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said the White House will not publicize how many vaccinated staffers have tested positive for COVID-19.
“No, I don’t think that you can expect that we’ll be providing numbers of breakthrough cases,” Psaki said in response to the number of COVID-19 cases among vaccinated people on the White House campus. Psaki said that there are roughly 2,000 people who work on the White House campus so breakthrough cases are inevitable “statistically speaking.”
“We’re in a very different place than we were a several months ago,” Psaki said, emphasizing the “vast majority” of vaccinated people who get COVID-19 will be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
On Tuesday, Psaki confirmed there had previously been multiple breakthrough cases in the White House after it was reported that a White House official and an aide to Pelosi — both fully vaccinated — tested positive for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the White House press secretary said that the administration would disclose when officials who’ve tested positive come in close contact with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Because of our commitment to transparency, what we’re going to be providing, moving forward, are updates on any White House official who tests positive for COVID-19 that the White House medical unit deemed as having had close contact with the president, vice president, first lady, or second gentleman,” Psaki said.
Psaki on Thursday reiterated that the White House will be “transparent” about people who have tested positive and had close contact with the president. “We understand and agree that is in the public interest,” she said.
The Trump administration faced consistent criticism over its lack of transparency surrounding COVID-19 cases in the White House before the vaccine was available.
Research shows that breakthrough cases, or cases among fully vaccinated people, mostly produce mild symptoms or none at all. “Breakthrough infections, they tend to be mild — they tend to be more like a cold,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, professor of medicine and infectious disease epidemiology at Emory University, told NPR.
Public health experts have underscored that breakthrough cases do not mean the vaccine isn’t working and are to be expected.
As the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread, top public health officials and experts are ramping up calls for unvaccinated people to get the shot as soon as possible.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently said that 97% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are among unvaccinated people.
“There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Walensky said last Friday. “Our biggest concern is we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and sadly deaths among the unvaccinated.”
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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics
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