White House Confirms Hiding Staff Coronavirus Cases After Texas ‘Fleebaggers’ Visit

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during the daily press briefing at the White house in Washington, DC, on July 19, 2021. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Tuesday confirmed that they were not disclosing the numbers of coronavirus cases amid Texas Democrats testing positive for the virus after meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris last week.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said although there were breakthrough cases that had occurred among fully vaccinated staff members, they were not disclosed to the public unless they were commissioned officers.

Psaki confirmed that a fully vaccinated White House official tested positive for the coronavirus off-campus, but was only experiencing mild symptoms from the virus.

“This is another reminder of the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines against severe illness or hospitalizations,” she said.

The discussion over White House transparency about coronavirus cases occurred during an exchange with CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe:

O’Keefe: “You confirmed today there’s been a breakthrough case.”

Psaki: “Yep.”

O’Keefe: “But you’re also confirming there have been other breakthrough cases?”

Psaki: “Yep.”

O’Keefe: “But you had not previously disclosed that there had been?”

Psaki: “And — that’s correct.”

Axios reported that the White House official who tested positive for the virus had attended a reception for Texas Democrats fleeing the state to block and protest election security legislation, as six of them have tested positive for the virus.

Psaki declined to characterize the visit by the Texas lawmakers as a “superspreader” event for the coronavirus and said the White House continued to support their trip and their cause.

“We certainly understand there will be breakthrough cases,” she said. “Even vaccines that are incredibly effective are not foolproof. They’re not 100 percent effective. We’ve seen that.”


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