US NEWS: Washington hostile party visitor COVID hits re-opening of capital

WASHINGTON, April 7 – As Washington emerges from its COVID morgue, tourists returning to the US Capitol and officials attending a white tie event that has been on display for the past two years, coronavirus has once again clashed over power halls.

At least a dozen senior officials, including members of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and lawmakers, have been tested for COVID-19 in recent days, as cases have dropped across the country.

In the days after the Gridiron dinner, usually prominent on the Washington social calendar, Attorney-General Merrick Garland, Trade Secretary Gina Raimondo and Democrats Adam Schiff and Joaquin Castro were tested.

Attendees at the white tie event were required to show evidence of vaccination, but “a small number” reported tests available since then, Gridiron Club President Tom DeFrank said, adding, “We wish a speedy recovery.”

White House staff, journalists and other officials were also assessed on their confidence in recent days, including Justice Department chief Jonathan Kanter and Democratic Representatives representatives Katherine Clark and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Biden, who was absent from the event, was tested for COVID on Monday, his latest test, White House said.

Former President Barack Obama visited Biden, 79, at the White House on Tuesday. Obama tested positive for HIV in mid-March.

Deputy President Kamala Harris was close to his communications director, Jamal Simmons, who was tested for the virus on Wednesday, the White House said. Harris will continue with his community program.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Tuesday everyone contacting the president was checked early and meetings were often far from the public.

Coronavirus has killed at least 983,000 Americans since February 2020.

Deaths and hospitalizations have dropped dramatically in recent months, but the new type of BA.2 Omicron now covers about three to four cases in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The recent increase in cases shows how almost impossible it is to completely avoid the virus, although vaccines, treatments and rising immunization rates make it less likely to become seriously ill, said Amesh Adalja, a senior specialist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health. Security.

“Everyone will get this,” he said. “But I think we successfully changed COVID-19 at the end of the spectrum.”

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