Reporter in Biden's press pool tests positive for coronavirus

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Biden (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Biden (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A reporter traveling with Joe Biden has tested positive for Covid-19.

The journalist received the positive diagnosis on Wednesday. They had been working in Mr Biden's transition press pool on the prior Monday and Tuesday.

Mr Biden's office released a statement that said it immediately began contact tracing to determine who had been in close contact with the reporter. They determined that the journalist did not have any close contact with Mr Biden.

“Out of an abundance of caution, one member of our traveling communications team who was in close contact with this individual will self-quarantine for 7 days and other members of the traveling press pool who were in close contact with this individual are not on pool duty today and will not be until they clear the window for being infectious,” Mr Biden’s office said. “No other member of the President-elect's staff has been assessed to be at risk for exposure or transmission of the virus.”

According to the White House Correspondent's Association, the reporter who tested positive is experiencing "mild symptoms" and has isolated to avoid spreading the virus.

Earlier this week, Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he wanted Mr Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris and Mike Pence to receive the just-released coronavirus vaccination as soon as possible.

“This is a person who very soon will be the president of the United States. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will very soon be the vice president of the United States,” Dr Fauci said on "Good Morning America". “For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can. You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January. So that would be my strong recommendation.”

Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine rolled out late last week and the first American recipients of the drug were given the shot on Monday.

Mr Biden said he would receive the vaccine but said he wanted to do it "by the numbers when I do it," and said he wanted to make sure his inoculation was a public event.

Dr Fauci also suggested vaccination for Donald Trump, though noted that since Mr Trump was recently infected, he likely is still protected by antibodies from his bout with Covid-19.

The White House will undergo a deep clean prior to Mr Biden's arrival in January.

While deep cleanings between presidential administrations is a regular occurrence, this year's will be more thorough and encompassing to ensure there are no lingering Covid-19 particles awaiting the incoming president.

Earlier in the fall, the White House was a hotbed of coronavirus activity. In addition to Mr Trump becoming sick with Covid-19, numerous members of his staff as well as Republican lawmakers and press members contracted the virus.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, several journalists, more than 100 Secret Service officers, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, and numerous others tested positive for the virus.

The most recent of Mr Trump's loyalists to catch the virus is his lawyer and post-election challenge champion Rudy Giuliani.

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