Congressman Named To Biden Staff Tests Positive For Coronavirus


Representative Cedric Richmond, who has been named one of Joe Biden’s White House aides, has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first known infection among the president-elect’s senior staff.

Biden was tested after Richmond’s infection was known, and the president-elected tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday. The transition team said Biden did not have “close contact” as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control when they appeared together at a campaign event Tuesday in Georgia, Biden spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said in a statement.

“Richmond’s interactions with the president-elect happened in open air, were masked and totaled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact,” Bedingfield said. “Richmond traveled to Georgia on his own and not with the President-elect.”

Richmond, who represents parts of New Orleans, was named to Biden’s senior White House staff. Part of his duties will be to run the Office of Public Engagement.

Richmond and two people who drove his car during the campaign trip are expected to quarantine after the diagnosis, the Biden transition team said. Richmond is not considered to have had close contact with Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock during Biden’s campaign stop in Georgia on their behalf.

Biden’s inner circle has largely avoided the wide-scale outbreaks seen in President Donald Trump’s White House, where scores of senior aides have contracted the virus amid relaxed safety protocols. But Richmond is the second person linked to the Atlanta rally to test positive for the virus; on Wednesday the Biden transition announced that a member of the press pool who traveled to the event had also tested positive for COVID-19.

The U.S. has reported over 17 million cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, with nearly 310,000 Americans succumbing to the disease.

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