Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
The Indian Delta variant of the coronavirus has been detected in the U.S. Capitol building, officials revealed on Tuesday, while the White House admitted there have been more COVID breakthrough cases among staff than publicly announced.
'The Delta variant virus has been detected in Washington, DC and in the Capitol buildings,' Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of the Capitol wrote in a memo obtained by DailyMail.com.
He said 'several' aides who have been vaccinated have tested positive for COVID. Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan announced on Monday he had tested positive for COVID despite being vaccinated.
'Several vaccinated Congressional staff members and 1 Member of Congress have acquired infection,' Monahan wrote.
He advised staff to consider wearing face masks as an additional source of protection but noted it is not required by the CDC.
'Vaccinated individuals seeking to further reduce their risk of disease, or further reduce potential risk of transmitting disease to vulnerable household members, may consider additional protective actions such as wearing a well-fitted, medical-grade filtration mask when they are in a crowded or interior location,' he said.
Several lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, staff members and members of the media were seen wearing face masks in the Capitol on Tuesday.
The developments comes after it was revealed a White House staffer and one in Speaker Pelosi's office tested positive for COVID after attending an event with Texas Democrats last week.
Additionally on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed there have been other break through cases in the administration but declined to offer details or numbers, saying they had only committed to revealing cases among high-level White House staff.
If the variant follows the same trajectory as the UK, it is estimated that Delta will account for all new infections by mid-August
Nearly every state - aside from Montana and Iowa - and the District of Columbia have seen infections rise in the last week
'We had also committed during the transition that - I think there's hundreds of thousands of people who work on the federal government as you all know - and we committed during the transition, that if it was a commissioned officer, which who are the highest level ranking people in the White House and in the administration, in this building here, that we would make that information publicly available,' she said.
The Delta variant is widely contagious and is causing a 224% spike in cases in the United States. The current vaccines are effective against it. Health officials note that breakthrough COVID cases for vaccinated individuals result in much milder symptoms than for the unvaccinated.
Both the Pelosi staffer and the White House aide were fully vaccinated. The speaker's office and the White House are taking precautions in the aftermath. Some Pelosi staff are working from home and the White House is conducting contact tracing.
'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. This individual has had no contact with the Speaker since exposure,' said Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill in a statement to DailyMail.com.
'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,' he added.
Axios first reported the news of the positive tests, reporting it happened after the staffers attended the same rooftop reception with members of the Texas Democratic delegation at the Hotel Eaton last Wednesday night. The downtown DC hotel has a popular rooftop bar.
Six members of the Texas Democratic delegation, who have fled their state to hold up a vote on voting rights legislation, have tested positive for COVID since arriving in Washington D.C.
COVID cases are on the rise across the United States. The U.S. recorded 52,111 new cases on Monday with a seven-day rolling average of 34,682, which is a 224 percent increase from the 10,678 average recorded three weeks ago.
Nearly every state - aside from Montana and Iowa - and the District of Columbia have seen infections rise in the last week, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data.
Several lawmakers wore masks on Capitol Hill on Tuesday
Speaker Pelosi was seen wearing a face mask in the Capitol on Tuesday
The U.S. recorded 52,111 new COVID-19 cases on Monday with a seven-day rolling average of 34,682, which is a 224% increase from the 10,678 average recorded three weeks ago
Texas Democrats posted a pic on Tuesday of their virtual meeting with House Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn