Harris Team Dismisses Maskless Hug After Deemed Biden Close COVID-19 Contact

Vice President Kamala Harris is being needled for not following federal masking guidance as a “close contact” of President Joe Biden, who tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

Harris, who contracted COVID-19 in April, took off her face covering before embracing Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama, who wore a face mask, ahead of their appearance at the National Urban League’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Vice President Kamala Harris is being needled for not following federal masking guidance as a “close contact” of President Joe Biden, who tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

Harris, who contracted COVID-19 in April, took off her face covering before embracing Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama, who wore a face mask, ahead of their appearance at the National Urban League’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

One day earlier, Harris was deemed a “close contact” of Biden, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a person who had been within 6 feet of someone who had been confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 for a cumulative 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period two days before the infected person developed symptoms or returned a positive result. The agency recommends watching for symptoms and wearing a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days.

When asked for comment, Kirsten Allen, Harris’s press secretary, told the Washington Examiner: “This morning, Vice President Harris tested negative for COVID-19 and is experiencing no symptoms.”

White House physician Kevin O’Connor reported Friday that Biden’s own symptoms seem to be easing, even though the president recorded a slightly elevated temperature overnight. Biden’s temperature of 99.4 degrees Fahrenheit “responded favorably” to Tylenol, in addition to Paxlovid, O’Connor wrote in a memo to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“His symptoms remain characterized as rhinorrhea (‘runny nose’) and fatigue, with an occasional non-productive, now ‘loose’ cough,” O’Connor said. “His voice is deeper this morning. His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation remain entirely normal, on room air.”

Reporting from The Washington Examiner.