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Cedric Richmond, incoming member of Biden administration, tests positive for coronavirus

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Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, who will join the incoming Biden administration as a White House senior adviser and director of the Office of Public Engagement, tested positive for Covid-19, Biden transition spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said Thursday in a statement.

Richmond recently traveled to Atlanta for a Tuesday campaign event for the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, where President-elect Joe Biden was also present.

Bedingfield said that Biden on Thursday underwent PCR testing for Covid-19 and the virus was not detected.

“Richmond’s 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,” Bedingfield said.

The congressman traveled to Georgia on his own and not with the President-elect, according to Bedingfield.

Richmond is expected to quarantine for 14 days and will have to test negative for two PCR tests before he returns for any in-person work in Congress or on the transition, Bedingfield said.

Richmond developed symptoms on Wednesday and took a rapid test, which came back positive, according to Bedingfield. She said that on Thursday, as per their standard protocol, Richmond took a PCR test, which also came back positive.

Richmond told CNN’s Don Lemon in a phone interview that he has mild symptoms and no fever after testing positive for Covid-19.

Richmond said he is quarantined at home and is going to stay in quarantine for at least 10 days. He added that he is following all the rules of the Biden transition and their Covid protocols.

Richmond told Lemon that he saw Biden at the rally on Tuesday, and they were outside, didn’t get very close and were both wearing masks.

“I’m feeling fine, mild symptoms and no fever,” he said.

Bedingfield said that after the rapid test came back positive, the transition team immediately initiated contact tracing, and “determined that he was in CDC-defined close contact with two individuals, neither of whom are Biden, Warnock or Ossoff staff.” The two individuals have been notified and are self-quarantining, she said.

Last month, the Biden transition team announced Richmond would join Biden’s White House and depart the House seat he has held since 2011. The congressman said he would resign from his seat before January 20, the day of Biden’s inauguration.

Richmond is a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and was a co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign. He was an early supporter of Biden’s presidential bid and a loyal surrogate on the campaign trail.

The congressman is currently the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. He is a member of the New Democrat Coalition and serves as the House Democratic assistant to the majority whip.

This story has been updated with more information about Richmond and his positive test result.

Article Topic Follows: National Politics

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