Kamala Harris is demanding a negative COVID test if newly elected senators want to take a picture with her during the Jan. 3 inauguration ceremony
- Harris will meet with new Senators in the Old Senate Chamber on Tuesday
- VP’s office cited the protocol during the “reenactment” ceremony when he was over two years old
- People who interact with President Joe Biden are also required to take a COVID test
Senators and family members attending Tuesday’s inauguration photo ceremonies with Vice President Kamala Harris are being told they must test negative for COVID before attending the event.
Harris, who represented California in the Senate before being sworn in as vice president in 2021, will continue the tradition of re-enacting events in the old Senate chambers on Capitol Hill.
But to get closer to Harris, who chairs the Senate as vice president, new senators and family members must have a negative result on a “medically administered antigen test.”
This policy is similar to what the White House imposes on guests meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House. The ceremony, which will be aired on C-SPAN, is set to be one of the celebratory events to be held Tuesday, alongside political drama in the House of Representatives where Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is struggling to cobble together the 218 votes required to become a speaker.
Vice President Kamala Harris will host formal swearing-in ceremonies for new senators and their families – provided they pass a rapid coronavirus test. She sworn in a trio of senators, including her own successor, two years ago
“The Office of the Vice President has requested that we send their standard COVID-19 log information to offices participating in the reenactment facility in the old Senate chamber. Please see the proposed process below,” said an email obtained by Breitbart News from the Senate Sergeant at Arms Protocol Office.
‘We look forward to welcoming all Senators and their families to the reenactment opportunity on January 3rd.’
Sources told the publication that some senators were “so upset” they might not attend, though none were quoted by name as saying they would skip.
Earlier Tuesday, Harris will swear in the new senators in a group ceremony in the Senate chambers. The Senate is a rolling body, so senators whose terms have partially expired do not need to be re-sworn in.
An email from Grisella Martinez of the VP’s Office of Legislative Affairs also quotes the directive.
The “ceremonial” swearing-in events are re-enactments that traditionally take place in the Old Senate Hall
“We look forward to welcoming your senator to the Old Senate Chamber on January 3, 2023 for the reenactment ceremony for incumbent and newly re-elected senators,” she wrote. “As you know, the COVID-19 White House protocols require that anyone over the age of two who interacts with the vice president undergoes a medically administered antigen test within 24 hours prior to the interaction and receives a negative result. This policy applies regardless of vaccination status.’
The transcript comes months after Biden declared the pandemic “over” in a remark the White House was trying to purge. Cases are currently on the rise and the administration has repeatedly urged people to inject their bivalent booster vaccine.
Former Vice President Mike Pence kept his distance during the inauguration ceremonies on Jan. 3, 2021
Republican U.S. Senate candidate JD Vance speaks to supporters with his wife Usha Vance and family at an election observation party at the Renaissance Hotel November 8, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Andrew Spear/Getty Images)
Senator-elect John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania) and new Senate colleagues, along with family members, will become close to Vice President Kamala Harris. The events usually have a festive atmosphere
The official swearing-in takes place in the Senate
The White House is taking steps to require people who will interact with Harris to test negative for the coronavirus. Here Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to Brianna Taylor, 16, as they work together as volunteers at Martha’s Table in Washington on Thursday, December 22, 2022
Two years ago, Vice President Mike Pence swore in his duties days before the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. He had new senators stand a few feet away from him, the spot marked by a white “X” on the ground.
Though the pandemic was still raging in January 2021, Pence took a laissez-faire approach to wearing masks, making it more of a personal choice.
“People did it — it’s up to you — masks or masks off,” a masked Pence said after elbowing Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).