Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris announced Thursday she will suspend travel after two staff members tested positive for coronavirus.
According to a statement from campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon, the Biden campaign learned late Wednesday that Harris’s Communications Director Liz Allen, and a “non-staff flight crew member” contracted the coronavirus. Neither person had contact with Biden or Harris 48 hours before they were tested.
O’Malley Dillon said the former attorney general will suspend her events through Sunday “out of an abundance of caution.” Harris was scheduled to spend Thursday in North Carolina.
“After being with Senator Harris, 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 said in a statement to CNN. “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.”
O’Malley Dillon said Harris, her husband, Doug Emhoff, and Biden have tested negative multiple times since the two staffers tested positive for coronavirus.
The news of a potential coronavirus outbreak within the Biden campaign comes less than two weeks after President Trump and more than 18 people in his circle admitted they’d contracted the virus since former senior adviser Hope Hicks tested positive in early October.
Others who’ve contracted the coronavirus in Trump’s circle include his campaign manager Bill Stepien; Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel; Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and two of her deputies, Chad Gilmartin and Karoline Leavitt; Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah); Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.); Nick Luna, the president’s personal assistant; and the first lady, Melania, and their son, Barron.
As a result of Trump’s COVID-19 infection, Trump and Biden will host competiting town hall events Thursday night instead of a second debate. Biden’s town hall will be on ABC, while NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC will host Trump’s town hall.
NBC is already facing backlash on Twitter for agreeing to host Trump’s town hall. The election has already begun in several states due to early voting and Democrats have a significant edge but that is not expected to hold up as Election Day draws closer.