Dec 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Incoming White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond tests positive for COVID-19

Rep. Cedric Richmond during a House Judiciary Committee meeting in December 2019.

Rep. Cedric Richmond during a House Judiciary Committee meeting in December 2019. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the incoming White House senior adviser for President-elect Joe Biden, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will self-quarantine for 14 days, the Biden-Harris transition team announced in a statement on Thursday.

What they're saying: "Richmond was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with the President-elect. President-elect Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected," per a statement from transition spokesperson Kate Bedingfield. Biden tested negative for the coronavirus on Thursday.

The big picture: The transition team said that Richmond traveled to Georgia for a campaign event with Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, but did not come in close contact with the candidates or their staff members.

  • Richmond’s interactions with Biden happened in open air while both men were masked and lasted less than 15 consecutive minutes.
  • Richmond developed symptoms on Wednesday and subsequently took a rapid test, which came back positive. On Thursday, he took a PCR test that also came back positive.

The transition team performed contact tracing protocols after Richmond's diagnosis and determined he was recently in close contact with two people unrelated to the Biden, Ossoff and Warnock teams.

  • After quarantining, Richmond will have to produce two negative PCR tests before he can work in-person in Congress and on the transition team.
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