Kamala Harris cancels travel after two staffers test covid positive

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris; image via C-SPAN screen capture

Indian American VP nominee tests negative twice; says “We’ve been very safe”.

Indian American Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris has canceled all campaign travel through this weekend “out of an abundance of caution” after a flight crew member and her communications director tested positive for coronavirus

Harris herself has tested negative for coronavirus twice over the past week, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign announced Thursday.

“Harris was not in close contact, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 O’Malley Dillon said in a statement.

Neither of the individuals who tested positive had contact with Harris or former Vice President Joe Biden “or any other staffers since testing positive or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results,” O’Malley Dillon said.

Harris was previously set to campaign in North Carolina on Thursday, traveling to Charlotte and Asheville to mark the beginning of early voting in the key battleground state. She  was scheduled to travel to Cleveland on Friday.

READ MORE: Road to the White House

Both the flight crew member, who is not a part of the Biden campaign, and Harris’ communications director Liz Allen had attended personal events not related to the campaign in the past week, according to O’Malley Dillon.

As part of the campaign’s health protocols, both were required to be tested before returning to work with the campaign.

Prior to that, both of those who tested positive were last on a flight with Harris on Oct. 8. Both the flight crew member and Allen, as well as Harris, wore an N-95 mask, and Harris was never within six feet of either for longer than 15 minutes, the campaign said.

The campaign is also postponing campaign travel for Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff, though he had no contact with either Allen or the flight crew member. He will return to the trail on Friday.

O’Malley Dillon said that the campaign has already begun contact tracing to notify anyone who had potentially been exposed during the infection window and had reported the positive results to local officials as required.

“From the outset of this pandemic, the Biden-Harris campaign has taken every precaution to limit the spread of covid-19. Today’s exceedingly cautious steps are part of that commitment,” she said.

“We’ve been very safe” Harris said in an interview with MSNBC earlier on Wednesday, when asked if she feels safe campaigning during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harris laughed when she acknowledged that Trump makes fun of the Biden campaign for wearing masks.

“I’d like to hug people. You don’t hug people these days. That’s not an option. You can’t shake hands. But you can look people in the eye, and you can listen, and you can be there,” Harris said.

“I think it’s important to be where the people are but to do it in a way that does not cause them to be at any risk in terms of their safety.

“And so we’re working it out. It’s definitely a different kind of campaign than anything that we’ve done before, but we’re making the best of it.”

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