Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)
Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat who represents New Orleans and Baton Rouge, tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday.
The congressman, 47, said in a brief interview that he is experiencing mild symptoms, but feels mostly fine and is in quarantine in New Orleans.
Richmond is a close adviser to President-elect Joe Biden and will serve as Biden’s director of the Office of Public Engagement in the White House. He traveled to Georgia Tuesday to campaign for the two Democrats — Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock — running for U.S. Senate in that state.
Biden’s transition team announced that Richmond had not been in close contact — as defined by the Centers for Disease Control — with Biden, Ossoff or Warnock. Biden tested negative for the virus Thursday.
“Richmond’s interactions with the President-elect happened in open air, were masked and totaled less than 15 consecutive minutes,” the Biden transition team said in a written statement Thursday evening.
Two people who drove a car for Richmond in Georgia may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are remaining in quarantine. The transition team said neither of these people were staff for Biden or the Georgia Democrats’ campaigns.
Richmond will not return to his work with Biden’s transition or Congress for at least 14 days and after he has tested negative twice for COVID-19. The congressman will step down from his job representing New Orleans to join the Biden administration next year.
Richmond is one of several Louisiana elected officials to test positive for COVID-19. He follows Attorney General Jeff Landry, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and State Treasurer John Schroder — who have recovered from the virus. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing mild symptoms Wednesday.
In April, state Rep. Reggie Bagala, R-Cut Off, died after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19. State Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, lost her husband to complications from COVID-19 this month.
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