Rep. Cedric Richmond has tested positive for coronavirus, Joe Biden’s transition team announced Thursday — two days after the incoming White House engagement director attended a campaign event with the president-elect.
Richmond has shown symptoms of the disease and will be isolating following his diagnosis. He was at a Georgia campaign event with Biden on Tuesday, along with Democratic Senate candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Richmond was not in close contact with Biden, Ossoff or Warnock according to CDC guidelines, and Biden tested negative for the virus Thursday, the transition team said.
Richmond served as a national co-chair to the Biden campaign and was named incoming director of the White House Office of Public engagement. In the Biden administration, he plans to focus on outreach with advocacy groups, including the NAACP, as well as work with the business community and climate activists.
At 78, Biden is at particular risk of complications due to Covid-19. He plans to get the coronavirus vaccine in public as soon as early next week.
Biden and Richmond’s interactions totaled less than 15 minutes, and both wore masks at the outdoor event, the transition team said in a statement. Other attendees to the event included Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Rep.-elect Nikema Williams — none of whom were in close contact with Richmond, the transition team said.
“The protocols we have followed are consistent with protocols we followed during the campaign to ensure the safety of everyone involved,” the transition said in a statement. “We take all precautions possible, follow the best guidance of public health officials and remain committed to transparency and information sharing when positive tests do arise.”
Richmond’s diagnosis comes after a member of the transition press pool tested positive for the virus Wednesday. The transition team said that person was never in close contact with Biden, but a number of staffers were. They have since been isolating.
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