On Tuesday, the White House confirmed they have avoided disclosing the number of coronavirus cases during the time Texas Democrats tested positive for the virus following their meeting with VP Harris last week.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said there had been breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated staff members; unless they were commissioned officers, they were not disclosed.
Psaki confirmed that a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for the coronavirus off-campus but was only experiencing mild symptoms from the virus.
“This is another reminder of the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalizations,” she said.
The discussion over White House transparency about coronavirus cases occurred during an exchange with CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe:
O’Keefe: “You confirmed today there’s been a breakthrough case.”
O’Keefe: “But you’re also confirming there have been other breakthrough cases?”
O’Keefe: “But you had not previously disclosed that there had been?”
Psaki: “And — that’s correct.”
Axios first reported that the Pelosi staffer had helped to usher a delegation of the Texas Democrats around Capitol Hill last week and then attended, along with the White House official, a rooftop reception at Hotel Eaton on Wednesday.
Additionally, Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Drew Hammill, said in a statement: “Yesterday, a fully-vaccinated senior spokesperson in the Speaker’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week.”
The Pelosi staffer has not had recent contact with President Biden or Speaker of the House Pelosi.
Psaki declined to characterize the visit by the Texas lawmakers as a “superspreader” event for the coronavirus and said the White House continued to support their trip and their cause.
“We certainly understand there will be breakthrough cases,” she said. “Even vaccines that are incredibly effective are not foolproof. They’re not 100 percent effective. We’ve seen that.”
The news comes after the sixth Texas Democrat has tested positive for coronavirus.