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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.

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."