Doug Emhoff, husband of Kamala Harris, tests positive for COVID-19

Harris tested negative on Tuesday.

March 15, 2022, 8:36 PM

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of Kamala Harris, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the vice president's office.

"Earlier today, the Second Gentleman tested positive for COVID-19," Sabrina Singh, deputy press secretary for the vice president, said in a statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, the Vice President will not participate in tonight's event [on Equal Pay Day]. The Vice President tested negative for COVID-19 today and will continue to test."

Emhoff, 57, said on social media that he is experiencing mild symptoms.

During his event marking Equal Pay Day at the White House -- an event both Harris and Emhoff were slated to attend -- President Joe Biden referenced Harris' absence due to Emhoff's positive test.

"One person I am particularly proud of is, was going to be introducing me is Kamala Harris," Biden said. "Kamala chose not to take a chance since her husband had contracted COVID, although he's feeling very well I'm told. By the way, when he tested, he's fine, but out of an abundance of caution, she decided she wasn't going to join us today."

"But let's send her our love, because she's something else. And I know how proud she is of our team," he added.

Asked if Biden is being tested again this evening given his proximity to Harris earlier, the White House pointed out that isn't required by COVID protocols.

Biden, as far as we know, was last tested on Sunday, and was negative.

PHOTO: Second gentleman Doug Emhoff listens as he meet with women entrepreneurs for a panel discussion while visiting Mi Casa Resource Center in Denver, Friday, March 11, 2022.
Second gentleman Doug Emhoff listens as he meet with women entrepreneurs for a panel discussion while visiting Mi Casa Resource Center in Denver, Friday, March 11, 2022. The center which provides resources needed to educate, train, and support youth and adults on their path to economic success, was a recipient of federal, state and local funds through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Jason Connolly/AP

Emhoff had a public event earlier Tuesday. In honor of AmeriCorps Week, he visited the Marvin Gaye Greening Center to tour the site and participate in a service project. He also spoke with two members of the press for several minutes at the event.

As second gentleman, Emhoff has traveled frequently to COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the country to promote shots. Both he and Harris have received their booster doses.

In his post sharing his diagnosis, Emhoff said he is "grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted" and urged others who have not yet gotten the doses, "please don't wait."

Nationwide, COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates continue to decline steadily, though new wastewater data updated this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the U.S. may be seeing the start of an uptick in infections.

Data released by the CDC on Tuesday also suggests that the omicron subvariant BA.2 has been nearly doubling in its presence every week nationwide. As of March 12, BA.2 is estimated to account for 23.1% of new cases in the U.S.

The data comes as countries in Europe and Asia, including the United Kingdom, Germany and China, are seeing resurgences of the virus.

U.S. officials are closely monitoring the increases overseas, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, told CNN Tuesday.

"We're obviously keenly interested in what's going on with that," Fauci said, adding that he has spoken with his U.K. counterparts who have pegged the rise to the more transmissible BA.2 variant, the opening of society and waning immunity from prior infection or vaccination.

ABC News' Mary Bruce and Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.

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