- A White House official tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. The official was vaccinated.
- There have been other cases of the White House breaking through, Psaki said earlier this week.
WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday refused to disclose the number of groundbreaking COVID-19 cases among vaccinated staff after an assistant tested positive for the virus earlier this week.
Press secretary Jen Psaki suggested the public did not need this information, even as the U.S. vaccination effort falters and COVID cases increase due to the more contagious delta variant.
When asked for data on breakthrough cases at the White House on Friday, Psaki noted that vaccinated people who have breakthrough infections are much less likely to become seriously ill or die.
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“As many medical experts have said, inside and outside of government, those who are vaccinated are protected against serious illness,” Psaki said at the White House briefing. “Most are asymptomatic if they are vaccinated people.”
She said the impact of the revolutionary cases is limited because the country is “in a different place” now than it was six or seven months ago, when the Biden administration’s vaccination campaign did not take place. that gain momentum.
Pressed again by a reporter, Psaki asked, “Why do you need to have this information?
For “transparency, in the public interest and a better understanding of how decisive cases work here in the White House,” replied the journalist.
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Psaki noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was working with state and territorial health departments to investigate breakthrough infections.
According to the CDC, 56.4% of Americans had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. That number is below the White House target of vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 4. As of Thursday, 48.8% of Americans were fully immunized.
Earlier this week, a White House official and an assistant to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an event together. The White House official and Pelosi staff member have been fully vaccinated.
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COVID-19 vaccines are very effective but do not offer 100% protection against the virus. This means that a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if exposed to the virus that causes it, according to the CDC.
However, vaccinated people who have flare-ups are much less likely to become seriously ill or die. The CDC works with state and local health departments to identify groundbreaking cases that result in hospitalization or death. As of July 12, of the more than 159 million fully vaccinated people in the United States, approximately 5,500 had been hospitalized or had died from COVID-19.
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Earlier this week, Psaki said more than one landmark case had occurred in the White House, but declined to give details.
She told reporters on Wednesday that some cases of breakup are inevitable because there are 2,000 people on the White House campus every day. She said the administration would release information if doctors determine that a staff member has had close contact with the president, vice president or their spouses.
Contact Rebecca Morin on Twitter @RebeccaMorin_