KEY POINTS

  • The WH staffer was not in direct contact with the Biden
  • Pelosi's aide was also not in contact with the House Speaker in recent days
  • The infected staffers were both fully vaccinated
  • Six Texas Democrats who fled to Washington, D.C., have since contracted COVID-19
  • The group is yet to meet with Biden

An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who chaperoned a group of Texas Democrats in Washington, D.C., last week has contracted COVID-19, raising concerns about a potential super-spreader event.

The top aide to Pelosi, Drew Hammill, said the unidentified staff member who was infected with COVID-19 was fully vaccinated and was not in contact recently with the Speaker, Fox News reported.

Hammill added that save for individuals who’ve had contact with the infected staffer or have had their test results come out negative, the “entire press office is working remotely.”

A White House official who was at the same rooftop reception at the Eaton DC Hotel with the Texas Democrats last Wednesday night also tested positive of the virus.

The White House official has not had recent direct contact with President Joe Biden and has been put off-campus, Axios reported. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the news, adding that the individual, who is experiencing mild symptoms, was fully vaccinated and is waiting for a confirmatory PCR test.

The Democratic lawmakers fled Austin and flew into Washington in order to deprive the state legislature of a quorum to vote on election integrity legislation, and face arrest on their return. From the traveling group of at least 58 politicians, six have tested positive of COVID-19 so far, damping their hopes for an immediate meet-up with the president, the Dallas Morning News reported. 

The new cases have not only added evidence to fully vaccinated individuals contracting COVID-19 but also raised concerns about a possible super-spreader event triggered by the Texas Dems. Psaki, however, tried to downplay the news, saying the White House is not characterizing the incident as a super-spreader event. “Vaccines are not foolproof. We know vaccines,” she said.

State Rep. Ina Minjarez of San Antonio said the caucus is “waiting for [the president] to call.” But Psaki clarified that “there has not been a meeting planned, and there hasn’t been a change to that.”

Biden has sent a message to the group, expressing his thanks for their choice of “standing up for voting rights.” The group had also met with Vice President Kamala Harris, but Psaki said the VP’s test results came out negative, CNN reported.

During the weekend, Harris’ office said she was “not at risk of exposure” following the meeting with the Texas state lawmakers.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gavels during the chamber's vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump on January 13, 2021 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gavels during the chamber's vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump on January 13, 2021 Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB