Kamala Harris Suspends Travel After Aide Tests Positive for COVID-19

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris has suspended all in-person events through Sunday after her communications director Liz Allen and a flight crew member tested positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, Jen O'Malley Dillon, the campaign manager for Harris’ running mate Joe Biden, said in a statement that the two people were on a flight with Harris on October 8, the day after her debate with Vice President Mike Pence.

However, O’Malley Dillon says neither Biden nor Harris had close contact with either person, according to CDC standards.

"During the flight, Senator Harris wore an N95 mask, as did both individuals. She was not within six feet for more than 15 minutes with either of them,” O’Malley Dillon said.

While Biden’s campaign says the 77-year-old Democratic presidential candidate had no exposure, he and Harris did campaign together that day in Arizona.

Regardless, O’Malley Dillon says Biden, Harris, and other staffers did not come into contact with the individuals since they tested positive “or in the 48 hours prior to their positive test results.”

O'Malley Dillon adds that both Allen and the flight crew member, as well as other staffers on board, tested negative before and after the flight.

After being with Harris, O’Malley Dillon says “both individuals attended personal, non-campaign events in the past week.”

“Under our campaign's strict health protocols, both individuals had to be tested before returning to their work with the campaign from these personal events," O'Malley Dillon continued.

"These protocols help protect the campaign, the staff, and anyone who they may have contact with; the importance of having such protocols — which include testing before resuming duties, regular testing while working in-person, isolation after time off, and masking and distancing while on campaign duties — have been illustrated once again."

Per O'Malley Dillon, Harris has been tested multiple times since October 8 and has tested negative.

The Associated Press adds that Biden has also tested negative multiple times since the Arizona event, and his most recent negative test was announced on Tuesday.

O'Malley Dillon says the Biden campaign has begun the process of contact tracing "to notify everyone who came into contact with the individuals during the potential infection window."

Harris was supposed to travel to North Carolina on Thursday and to Ohio on Friday but will remain off the road until next week.

Harris' husband Doug Emhoff has canceled planned travel to Minnesota on Thursday, where he was scheduled to campaign with Biden’s wife Jill Biden.

Because he did not come in contact with Allen or the flight crew member, he will return to in-person campaigning on Friday.

Despite this development, Harris will continue virtual campaigning, including fundraisers previously scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday, Harris said "we've been very safe" while campaigning amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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