Staffer on Democratic presidential nominee Biden's plane tests positive for COVID-19

2020-10-16 07:37:39Xinhua Editor : Zhao Yuning ECNS App Download

A charter staffer who flew on U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign plane has tested positive for COVID-19, the Biden campaign announced on Thursday.

The staffer flew with Biden to the midwest U.S. state of Ohio on Monday and southeastern state Florida on Tuesday, but they were always over 50 feet away from each other and wore masks, Biden's campaign said in a statement.

The statement said the person who tested positive was an "administrative member" of the company that charters Biden's 737 aircraft but was in the last row of the plane and "did not even have passing contact" with Biden.

"Given these facts, we have been advised by the Vice President's doctor and the campaign's medical advisors that there is no need for the Vice President to quarantine," Campaign Manager Jen O'Malley Dillon said in the statement.

"Not only was the individual 50+ feet away and wearing a mask, but I was wearing an N-95 mask. No members of my staff were in contact with this crew member either. My doctors have advised that there is no need for me to quarantine," Biden tweeted.

"If anything, let this serve as an example of the importance of wearing masks and keeping a safe, social distance," the former vice president added.

Earlier on Thursday, Biden's running mate Kamala Harris cancelled her campaign travel through this weekend after her communications director Liz Allen and a flight crew member tested positive for coronavirus.

Both Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff tested negative for the virus on Thursday.

O'Malley Dillon said the Biden campaign has begun the process of contact tracing "to notify everyone who came into contact with the individuals during the potential infection window."

The U.S. coronavirus deaths reached 217,696 on Thursday while the number of infections stood at over 7.9 million, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The new cases per day was on the rise in 44 state, and deaths per day climbing in 30 states, NBC News reported.


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