U.S. House Speaker Pelosi tests positive for COVID -spokesman By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks as she welcomes Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (not pictured) at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, U.S., March 30, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic, her spokesman said on Thursday, after more than half a dozen other federal officials tested positive in recent days.

The Democratic leader tested positive after a negative test result earlier in the week, spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement.

More than half a dozen senior officials, including members of Democratic President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and at least seven lawmakers, have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, even as caseloads drop across the country.

Pelosi, 82, stood near Biden briefly during a ceremony to sign a postal reform bill on Wednesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers close contact for COVID exposure to be within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more.

Pelosi also attended an event on the Affordable Care Act at the White House on Tuesday with Biden and former President Barack Obama.

The White House did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the latest COVID test for Biden, 79.

Pelosi is second in line to become president, behind Vice President Kamala Harris. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is seventh in the line of succession, tested positive on Wednesday and is also asymptomatic, the Justice Department said.

A congressional delegation trip to Asia that Pelosi had planned to lead has been postponed, Hammill said.

“The speaker is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is thankful for the robust protection the vaccine has provided,” Hammill said.

She will quarantine according to federal health guidelines, he said.

The House continues to allow remote voting so lawmakers can casts ballots while they are in isolation.

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