New wave of Covid cases hits US officials, rattles Washington

WASHINGTON – A fresh wave of Covid-19 case swept across the nation’s capital this week, hitting officials at the highest levels of government and disrupting business like President Joe Biden and other political leaders are pressing for a return to normalcy.

“Well, I think the trend is that Covid-19 is completely behind us, but it’s not,” said masked Representative Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Representative for the San Francisco Bay Area along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said, who tested positive on Thursday.

“And we still have to be highly conscious, vaccinated, boosted, so that if the infection does hit us it will be a very mild case. And thank God that’s it” for the speaker, Eshoo, one of Pelosi’s closest friends in Congress, said.

Two top members of the Biden Cabinet – Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo – test positive for Covid after attending the Gridiron Club Dinner over the weekend.

Other exclusive, white-forced event attendees also tested positive, including Delegates Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; Jamal Simmons, top aide to Vice President Kamala Harris; and Valerie Biden Owens, the president’s sister.

On Thursday night, just hours after voting confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court, Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced that she had has tested positive and is experiencing “mild symptoms”. Collins also attended the Gridiron dinner.

Senator Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., also tested positive for Thursday Covid.

First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary, Michael LaRosa, told NBC News on Thursday night that he has also tested positive, adding that the first lady is not considered an important person. friendly system.

Fox News first report LaRosa’s positive test.

At the beginning of the day, Pelosi, second to the president after Harris, becoming the highest-ranking government official currently to test positive for Covid. It comes a day after she attended a revealing bill signing event at the White House with Biden; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.; and other congressional leaders. The White House later said Biden was not close to Pelosi.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the 82-year-old speaker, who has been fully vaccinated and boosted, has no symptoms but will be isolated. She did not attend the Gridiron dinner.

Her office made the announcement shortly before Pelosi was due to meet with reporters for her weekly press conference, which was quickly scrapped. She was also scheduled to lead a delegation of lawmakers on a closely watched trip to Taiwan and Japan next week; The trip sparked an international controversy, with Beijing saying it would take “strong measures” against the US if Pelosi ever set foot in Taiwan.

But the trip was immediately postponed.

A series of famous cases come as masks have appeared in the Capitol complex and around Washington, and large, crowded indoor events such as the Gridiron dinner and other Washington traditions have made a comeback. two years of absence. The White House Correspondents Association grand dinner, which will be hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, is being held on April 30.

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Eshoo said she was with Pelosi on Wednesday at an indoor ceremony, packed to unveil a portrait of former Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. The night before, Eshoo hosted a dinner for Pelosi.

Will she rethink her decision not to wear a mask in the Capitol? “It gives me pause,” Eshoo replied.

Is she planning to test on Thursday, due to her proximity to Pelosi? “If I can, before I leave,” Eshoo said as the House was wrapping up votes for the week.

The latest round of Covid cases has put members of the US Senate on high alert as they work this week to confirm Jackson to the Supreme Court. Given the Democratic Party’s razor-thin margins, a major Senate outbreak could put some lawmakers on hold and delay. Jackson’s confirmationtook place Thursday in a historic 53-47 vote.

The White House is planning to hold an event Friday afternoon on the South Lawn where Jackson will make remarks on her confirmation. Biden and Harris are also scheduled to speak.

All week, Schumer has been warning his members to “Take care of your health!” according to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a member of the Democratic leadership team.

“Obviously, if we have a member of the Senate Democratic caucus this week [test positive], it’s going to be a huge disruption,” said Stabenow. “Sometimes, for us, if there’s a close vote, it becomes a disruption.”

Few Capitol Hill reporters and other members of Congress also had positive results this week, including one of Pelosi’s deputies, Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark, D-Mass., as well as Representative Scott Peters, D-Calif., and Derek KilmerD-Wash.

When the House opened, Kilmer shared an apartment in Washington with his friend Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich. When the test was positive, Kildee did not return to the apartment.

“I wasn’t there last night, because I was in a hotel last night,” Kildee said.

“This has been an exciting week. … fox bite Amy Bera. Fred Upton give up,” explained Kildee. There are “Veep” days, there are “House of Cards” days, and there are “West Wing” days. “

“And what’s this week?” asked a reporter.

“It’s definitely been a ‘Veep’ week,” Kildee replied.

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