COVID hits more than 70 attendees of swanky DC Gridiron dinner

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Rep. Elaine Luria has tested positive for COVID-19, her office announced Sunday — making the Virginia Democrat the latest of more than 70 lawmakers, White House officials and reporters who have contracted the virus following the super-spreader Gridiron Club dinner earlier this month.

Luria, 46, is fully vaccinated and boosted against the virus and was reportedly “experiencing mild symptoms.”

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“Rep. Luria is currently quarantining and will continue to follow CDC guidance,” her office said. “She encourages everyone to get the lifesaving vaccine.”

Luria was spotted at the annual Washington DC event, which hadn’t been held since 2019 due to the ongoing pandemic. While guests were required to show proof of vaccination, COVID-19 tests were not required.

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Gridiron Club President Tom DeFrank confirmed to The Post Monday that at least 73 attendees of the April 2 shindig had since tested positive for COVID-19 — though he added that some of those infected may not have contracted the virus at the event.

“Now eight days after the dinner, the connection between a new positive test and our dinner is certainly arguable, particularly for public officials who have had a full week of public events,” DeFrank said.

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congress, Coronavirus, COVID vaccine, democrats, health, joe biden, nancy pelosi, us house of representatives, virginia, washington dc

Rep. Elaine Luria has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the super-spreader Gridiron Club dinner this month.

Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

At least three Cabinet secretaries, several members of Congress, multiple White House officials and a large number of journalists are among the dozens to test positive.

Mayor Eric Adams, a gala attendee, also joined the unlucky COVID club on Sunday after attending several in-person events across the city unmasked and will be quarantining and working remotely from Gracie Mansion this week.

The high-profile dinner attracted approximately 630 attendees, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Vice President Kamala Harris’ communications director Jamal Simmons, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and many more. Garland, Simmons, and Collins are among those to test positive in recent days.

congress, Coronavirus, COVID vaccine, democrats, health, joe biden, nancy pelosi, us house of representatives, virginia, washington dc

Sen. Susan Collins is one of the 73 people who have tested positive for COVID after the event.

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The nation’s capital has been plagued by rising COVID-19 cases outside of the dinner, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) testing positive on Thursday after interacting with several members of Congress, former President Barack Obama and President Biden at multiple events.

Biden was not listed as a close contact of Pelosi despite standing very close to her at two events on Tuesday and Wednesday and even giving the Speaker a kiss on the cheek at one of them.

A close contact is described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as someone who spends a total of 15 minutes within six feet of the person who has contracted COVID-19 over the course of 24 hours.

The White House said Monday that both Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had tested negative that day, though the administration has acknowledged that the president could contract the virus in the coming weeks.

The recent uptick in cases comes as more people catch the BA.2 subvariant, which is now the most dominant strain in at least 68 countries. In the US, it has been responsible for more than 70% of new infections.

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