Just weeks after COVID-19 infections sidelined President Donald Trump and others in his administration, a pair of positive test results within the campaign of Democratic nominee Joe Biden has disrupted plans ahead of Election Day.
As the Daily Caller reported, a top aide to Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), was among those diagnosed with the virus, prompting a cancellation of Harris’ scheduled events through Sunday.
“Abundance of caution”
In an announcement on Thursday, the Biden campaign confirmed that Harris’ communications director, Liz Allen, and one flight crew member on the plane the senator uses were the individuals who tested positive. Jennifer Epstein of the Washington Post provided updates in a series of tweets.
NEW: Two members of Sen. Harris’s traveling party, a non-staff flight crew member and comms director Liz Allen, tested positive for Covid-19 last night.
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 15, 2020
Epstein reported that the staffers received their diagnoses the previous evening and Harris instituted a campaign freeze out of an “abundance of caution.”
She went on to describe the response as a “stark contrast” to the reaction of the Trump campaign in the wake of its own COVID-19 outbreak.
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon issued a statement confirming that Harris “was not in close contact, as defined by the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], with either of these individuals during the two days prior to their positive tests” and would not require a full quarantine.
“We extend our best wishes”
Nevertheless, Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, confirmed they would cancel travel plans throughout the week.
They have reportedly continued to test negative for COVID-19 and the campaign said Harris’ practice of wearing a face mask and social distancing limited her exposure.
“From the outset of this pandemic, the Biden-Harris campaign has taken every precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19,” Dillon continued. “Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that commitment.”
While Biden campaign surrogates have cited the latest development as part of an overarching critique of the Trump administration’s approach to the coronavirus pandemic, the president wished the staffers well during a rally in North Carolina on Thursday.
“We extend our best wishes,” he said, going on to reference his own bout with the virus. “We extend our best wishes, more than they did to me, but that’s OK.”