Close Biden Adviser Has COVID

Rep. Cedric Richmond tests positive after traveling to Georgia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2020 12:02 AM CST
Close Biden Adviser Tests Positive
In this Dec. 15, 2020, photo Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., senior adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, reaches out for an elbow bump after a drive-in rally where Biden appeared in support of Georgia Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – A close adviser to President-elect Joe Biden has tested positive for the coronavirus. Rep. Cedric Richmond on Tuesday traveled to Georgia for a rally campaigning for Democrats in the Senate runoff races there, at which Biden spoke. On Wednesday, the Louisiana congressman developed symptoms and tested positive on a rapid test; the following day, a PCR test confirmed he has the virus. Biden is not considered a close contact of Richmond's based on CDC guidelines, the president-elect's transition team says, per the Hill. Neither are any members of the Biden staff or the campaign teams for Jon Ossoff or the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic candidates fighting for Senate seats. The 47-year-old tells CNN he has mild symptoms and no fever.

Stacey Abrams and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also attended the rally, but neither of them are considered close contacts either. Richmond traveled to Georgia on his own, not with Biden, the team says, and all his interactions with the president-elect "happened in open air, were masked, and totaled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact." Biden got a PCR test Thursday and no virus was detected. Two people who drove his car during the Georgia trip are now in quarantine. On Wednesday, the transition team announced a reporter who traveled to Georgia for the rally also tested positive, putting a Biden press staffer in quarantine. Richmond, who will leave his congressional seat to become a senior adviser in the White House, is the closest person to Biden yet to test positive. (Read more Cedric Richmond stories.)

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