House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) announced on Wednesday evening that he tested positive for COVID-19 in a breakthrough case of the virus.
“Tonight, I received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. This is a breakthrough case, and I am asymptomatic,” Clyburn tweeted. “America is in a new phase of this pandemic. No one is immune. I urge anyone who has not done so to protect themselves by getting vaccinated and boosted.”
Last weekend, Clyburn was with President Biden, who spoke at Clyburn’s alma mater, South Carolina State University, for the school’s December commencement address, The Associated Press reported.
The White House announced on Wednesday that Biden had tested negative for COVID-19 after taking a PCR test after an aide, with whom Biden had been in close contact, earlier this week tested positive for COVID-19. Biden has already completed his three-dose COVID-19 vaccine series.
Biden had also tested negative for COVID-19 on Sunday and Monday, and Psaki had noted Tuesday during a press briefing that the president had been feeling great.
Several other lawmakers have also announced that they tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days, including breakthrough cases for Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Reps. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) and Jason Crow (D-Colo.).
The U.S. is starting to see a surge of COVID-19 cases amid the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant. Early research suggests that the variant may not be as severe as previous strains, though some of those studies have not yet been or are still under peer review.
Health officials earlier this week suggested that the country could see a rough weeks and months ahead, and Biden’s chief medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, confirmed on Sunday that it was likely the country would see record numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
“Do you expect new record high numbers for cases? And what about hospitalizations and deaths?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Fauci on “State of the Union.”
“Yes, well, unfortunately, Jake, I think that that is going to happen,” Fauci confirmed. “We are going to see a significant stress in some regions of the country on the hospital system, particularly in those areas where you have a low level of vaccination, which is one of the reasons why we continue to stress the importance of getting those unvaccinated people vaccinated.”