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Biden aide tests positive for Covid-19, says transition team

Wilmington – US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming White House senior advisor, congressman Cedric Richmond, has tested positive for Covid-19 after having open-air “interactions” with Biden, the transition team said yesterday.

Richmond travelled independently to the state of Georgia to campaign Tuesday with Biden for a pair of Democrats in tight runoff elections against incumbent Republican senators.

“Richmond’s interactions with the president-elect happened in open air, were masked and totalled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact,” transition spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield said in a statement, referring to the guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

She said the congressman, who will serve as director of the Office of Public Engagement in the White House, “was not in close contact, as defined by the CDC, with the president-elect” or with the Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Biden, 78, tested negative for Covid-19 yesterday, his team said.

Richmond, 47, developed symptoms on Wednesday and took a rapid test which came back positive, according to Bedingfield. A follow-up test was also positive, and Richmond entered a 14-day quarantine.

Dozens of people in President Donald Trump’s orbit have caught the virus which has led to at least 310,000 American deaths.

The latest to come down with Covid-19 is Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who reportedly tested positive on Wednesday ahead of a cabinet meeting with Trump and as a result did not attend. — AFP

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