KEY POINTS

  • White House promises to be 'transparent' but offers no details
  • A Pelosi aide and a White House official recently tested positive for COVID-19
  • Both were with Texas Democrats who had fled the state last week
  • It’s up to the White House to lead on the transparency issue: CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the public will not be notified about how many vaccinated staffers have contracted COVID-19 following news of breakthrough cases among inoculated staffers on the campus.

Psaki said breakthrough cases should be expected “statistically speaking” as there are around 2,000 people working on-campus, Business Insider reported. “No, I don’t think that you can expect that we’ll be providing numbers of breakthrough cases,” she said Thursday.

She had previously confirmed that there had been multiple breakthrough cases in the White House. 

Psaki said Wednesday that the White House will disclose if commissioned officers test positive for the virus. She had also added that details would be given when officials who have had close contact with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris test positive.

Earlier, transparency was an issue in the Trump White House as the public demanded information about coronavirus infections among staffers and officials. Former President Donald Trump himself was infected and it was later reported that his condition was worse than revealed, before he recovered fully.

CNN Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza wrote in an op-ed Wednesday that the Biden administration appears to not be making good on its campaign commitment to transparency. Cillizza wrote that “it’s up to the White House to lead on the transparency issue,” especially as there has been a surge in Delta variant cases in the United States.

“They simply aren’t doing it,” Cillizza wrote.

Psaki reiterated that the White House will be "transparent" on the issue, saying "we understand and agree that is in the public interest." But she offered no further details or steps that will be taken.

Earlier this week, Psaki reiterated that the White House staff get tested for potential COVID-19 infection regularly, Axios reported. She added that the president is being tested roughly every two weeks, while she herself gets tested twice a week.

Psaki's latest comments on transparency come after it was reported earlier this week that an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a White House official, who are both fully vaccinated, tested positive for the virus.

Both Pelosi’s aide and the White House official were at the same area at the Eaton DC hotel where Texas Democrats who flew in to Washington last week had stayed. Six people from the traveling group that fled Texas to avoid an election bill have since contracted COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the White House expressed disappointment over China’s rejection of a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal for another round of investigations into COVID-19 origins, Reuters reported.

The U.S. has been calling for transparency from China as the first known coronavirus case was detected in Wuhan late in 2019.

jenpsaki Social media platforms are blocked in Cuba amidst anti-government protests and U.S. politicians urge Biden to step up. Photo: Creative Commons