Apr 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Harris' communications director tests positive for COVID-19

Jamal Simmons

Jamal Simmons in 2016. Photo: John Lamparski/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York

Jamal Simmons, communications director for Vice President Kamala Harris, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to a statement from Harris' press secretary Kirsten Allen.

Why it matters: Simmons is the latest in a spate of positive COVID-19 cases that have hit Washington, D.C.'s elites in recent weeks, affecting both White House officials and members of Congress.

  • Simmons attended an event Tuesday to commemorate the signing of the Affordable Care Act alongside President Biden and former President Barack Obama. Simmons was seen embracing Obama, who contracted COVID-19 last month, while both men were unmasked.

What they're saying: "Jamal was in close contact to the Vice President as defined by CDC guidance. Jamal is isolating and working from home," the statement read.

  • Harris is following relevant CDC guidelines for close contact with a positive individual, but plans to continue her public work schedule uninterrupted, the statement added.

The big picture: This week, Attorney General Merrick Garland tested positive for COVID-19, as did Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Joaquin Castro (D-Texas).

  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki and principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tested positive for coronavirus in recent weeks, as well.

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