Despite all of the haranguing in which she and members of her party have long engaged when it comes to COVID-19 mitigation protocols, Vice President Kamala Harris this week looked to be in violation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations when she presided over the Senate sans mask after it was known that she had just been exposed to someone who tested positive for the illness, as Fox News reports.
Attention was shed on the situation Thursday by Politico reporter Alex Thompson, who took to social media to inform followers that “Harris’ office said yesterday she was in close contact with her comms director who tested positive for COVID. But she didn’t wear her mask part of the time while presiding over the Senate today. CDC guidance for boosted ppl is wear a mask for 10 days.”
Thompson’s reference to Harris’ close contact related to Jamal Simmons, the vice president’s communications director, who was revealed to have tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.
A statement released by Harris’ press secretary Kirsten Allen further noted that “Jamal was in close contact with the Vice President as defined by CDC guidance. Jamal is isolating and working from home.”
The White House later claimed that despite her maskless appearance in the Senate, Harris, while in the chamber, observed “social distancing” and had only “limited and brief” interactions with those present.
Whether Harris engaged in similar viral mitigation measures later that same day when she attended – once again without a mask – a VIP event for the Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, remains unclear.
The arguably hypocritical behavior of the vice president in recent days comes amid a wave of COVID-19 cases sweeping through the highest ranks of government, as NBC News reports, with Attorney General Merrick Garland, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) among those impacted this week.
Pelosi’s positive test result was of particular concern to some due to the fact that she had been seen kissing President Joe Biden on the cheek at a White House event on Tuesday, but press secretary Jen Psaki brushed those worries aside in terms of him having to take further precautions, saying, “[T]he CDC’s] definition of [close contact] is 15 minutes of contact within a set period of time, within six feet…[i]t did not meet that bar.”
While the unwillingness of Democrat leaders such as Harris to heed the protocols they have unbendingly foisted on others is infuriating, it is not particularly surprising, given the “do as I say, not as I do attitude” that the left has exemplified for the entirety of the pandemic.