The maskless private plane flight of Texas state Democratic lawmakers from Austin to Washington, D.C. has officially turned into a superspreader event.
Drew Hammill, a senior aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announced on Tuesday that a fully vaccinated aide in Pelosi’s office tested positive for COVID-19.
Pelosi spent hours with the Texas Democrats, six of whom have since tested positive for coronavirus since arriving in Washington, D.C.
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“Yesterday, a fully vaccinated senior spokesperson in the speaker’s press office tested positive for COVID after contact with members of the Texas state legislature last week,” Hammill said in a statement.
“This individual has had no contact with the speaker since exposure. The entire press office is working remotely today with the exception of individuals who have had no exposure to the individual or have had a recent negative test. Our office will continue to follow the guidance of the Office of Attending Physician closely.”
Additionally, an aide in President Joe Biden’s White House has also tested positive. Both the Pelosi and Biden aides were in close contact to the Texas state Democratic lawmakers in recent days.
That brings the total outbreak of coronavirus among Democrats to eight. Neither aide has had contact with Pelosi or Biden since being exposed.
“In accordance with our rigorous COVID-19 protocols, the official remains off campus as they wait for a confirmatory PCR test,” a White House official told Axios. “The White House Medical Unit has conducted contact tracing interviews and determined no close contacts among White House principals and staff. The individual has mild symptoms.”
The Texas state Democratic lawmakers fled the state to avoid voting on a Republican-backed voter integrity bill.
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The GOP’s voting bill in Texas is aimed at securing confidence in the election among voters. Critics say it would ban 24-hour polling places, prohibit ballot drop boxes and empower partisan poll watchers, moves that Democrats say are designed to suppress and intimidate voters.
Republicans are continuing to show up at the state Capitol, even though they can’t pass any laws, calling the bills important safeguards to fight voter fraud.
The Horn News and The Associated Press contributed to this article