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US Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid

US Vice President Kamala Harris tests positive for Covid

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for Covid-19, the White House said, becoming the latest top official in Washington to contract the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for the vice president said in a statement on Tuesday that Harris had not been in close contact with President Joe Biden or his wife Jill Biden “due to their respective recent travel schedules”.

“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for Covid-19 on rapid and PCR tests,” said spokeswoman Kirsten Allen. “She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the vice president’s residence.”

Earlier this month, top US cabinet members and key lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, also tested positive for Covid-19.

Several White House aides and Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff, have also contracted the virus in recent weeks.

But Biden, who tests regularly for Covid-19, has not been infected despite the outbreaks in US political circles, the White House has said.

“The President and the Vice President spoke on the phone this afternoon,” the White House said on Tuesday. “[Biden] wanted to check in and make sure she has everything she needs as she quarantines at home.”

Most legislators with recent positive tests have said they had mild cases, crediting vaccination for their light symptoms.

The U.S. has reported more than 81 million Covid-19 cases and nearly one million related deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, according to data from John Hopkins University.

But most places across the country have lifted coronavirus-related restrictions as the numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths dropped following an Omicron variant-fuelled wave earlier this year.