White House spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, Symone Sanders, was caught spreading misinformation on Monday regarding the vice president’s coronavirus test.
During the White House press briefing on Monday afternoon, press secretary Jen Psaki said that Harris had been tested for the coronavirus and that there was no detection of the coronavirus, attributing the information to the vice president’s office.
“I think the Vice President’s Office put out that she was tested, and that she did — there was no detection of COVID-19,” she said.
But that was not what the vice president’s office had said in a statement Sanders released on Saturday night.
In that statement, Sanders wrote that Harris and her staff “do not need to be tested” after meeting with Texas state lawmakers on Tuesday — even though some of them tested positive for the virus.
Sanders’ full statement read:
On Tuesday, July 13th, Vice President Harris met with members of the Texas state legislature who are temporarily in Washington, D.C. Earlier today, it was brought to our attention that two of the members at that meeting tested positive for COVID-19. Based on the timeline of these positive tests, it was determined the Vice President and her staff present at the meeting were not at risk of exposure because they were not in close contact with those who tested positive and therefore do not need to be tested or quarantined. The Vice President and her staff are fully vaccinated.
When Politico’s West Wing Playbook questioned the vice president’s office about the potential conflict, Sanders responded that both of the statements were true.
Sanders told Politico on Monday that “the vice president is tested regularly as is her staff and that as a part of that regular testing, she was tested this weekend and Covid-19 was not detected.”
“That is not in conflict with the statement we put out Saturday,” Sanders added.
That statement demonstrates that Sanders deliberately misled the press on Saturday about whether Harris would or had taken a coronavirus test or that there were concerns about her contracting the virus after meeting with the Texas Democrats.
The vice president’s office has still refused to answer questions about Harris’s health or whether she met with the president on Monday. The White House failed to release any information about Harris’s activities on Monday and she did not appear publicly since she was last seen with President Biden on Friday.