Kamala Harris campaign comes to standstill after staffer and flight crew member test positive for covid-19

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Sen. Kamala Harris will cease all campaign travel for the rest of the week after her communications director and a “non-staff flight crew member” tested positive for COVID-19.

The decision comes as a precautionary measure, officials with the California Democrat’s office said, Fox News reports.

In a statement posted online the Biden/Harris campaign said neither staffer has been in contact with Democratic nominee Joe Biden or Harris, his running mate, “in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results.”

The statement then sought to cast blame on the individuals who tested positive.

“After being with Senator Harris, both individuals attended personal, non-campaign events in the past week,” the statement continues. “Under our campaign’s strict health protocols, both individuals had to be tested before returning to their work with the campaign from these personal events.

“These protocols help protect the campaign, the staff, and anyone who they may have contact with; the importance of having such protocols — which include testing before resuming duties, regular testing while working in-person, isolation after time off, and masking and distancing while on campaign duties — have been illustrated once again,” the lengthy statement continued.

The campaign said that prior to taking time away from events, the individuals traveled with Harris on an Oct. 8 flight, adding that all three wore N95 masks, believed to be the most effective in stopping transmission of COVID-19.

“Senator Harris was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with either of these individuals during the two days prior to their positive tests; as such, there is no requirement for quarantine,” Biden campaign manager Jen Dillon said in a statement.

Still, she added that “regardless, out of an abundance of caution and in line with our campaign’s commitment to the highest levels of precaution, we are canceling Senator Harris’s travel through Sunday, October 18th, but she will keep a robust and aggressive schedule of virtual campaign activities to reach voters all across the country during this time.”

She said that Harris would return to in-person campaigning on Monday if she continued to test negative for the virus, stressing again that “neither of these people have had contact with Vice President Biden, Senator Harris or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results.”

The positive tests come about two weeks after President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and several GOP lawmakers who attended an event for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the White House all tested positive.

Trump resumed in-person rallies earlier this week after being cleared by White House medical staff, having tested negative for the virus for several consecutive days. The first lady has also recovered.

The president’s rallies have been raucous, well-attended affairs featuring thousands of people, with no social distancing and many who do not wear masks.

The former VP and Harris, however, have held much smaller events that are socially distanced where masks are required.

Vice President Mike Pence, who debated Harris last week, has also consistently tested negative for COVID-19.

Dillon said cases around Harris showed “how seriously we take COVID, how we have since March done everything in our powers as a campaign to ensure the safety of our staff and our volunteers and voters and will continue to do so.”


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