Speaker Nancy Pelosi has become the latest high-ranking official in Washington to test positive for COVID-19.
“After testing negative this week, Speaker Pelosi received a positive test result for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic. The Speaker is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is thankful for the robust protection the vaccine has provided,” the California Democrat’s spokesman, Drew Hammill, said in a statement. “The Speaker will quarantine consistent with CDC guidance, and encourages everyone to get vaccinated, boosted and test regularly.”
The announcement of the speaker’s positive test came shortly before Pelosi was scheduled to hold her regular weekly news conference.
A growing list of congressional and administration leaders have reported publicly that they have tested positive in recent days, including Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo, as well as members of the House.
Pelosi was at a widely attended White House event Tuesday in the East Room to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the enactment of the 2010 health care law, which was headlined by both President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama. She was also at the White House for the signing of Postal Service overhaul legislation on Wednesday.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that any determinations about additional testing for Biden would be made by his doctor, but she stressed that the interactions with the speaker did not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of "close contact."
"The way a close contact is defined, it's not arbitrary, it's not something made up by the White House," Psaki said. "It's CDC guidelines, and how they define it is being within six feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24 hour period."
The White House also said Thursday that the president most recently tested negative on Wednesday evening.
The speaker, who is 82 years old, did not attend the Gridiron Club dinner over the weekend, a glitzy event for Washington’s political and media elite that has since been linked to several positive tests. Garland and Raimondo both went to the Gridiron, as did two congressmen who announced positives earlier this week, Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Joaquin Castro, D-Texas.
A congressional delegation led by Pelosi was scheduled to arrive in Asia later this week, but that trip has been postponed.