At left, Sen. Becca Balint (right) greets U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland at White House Pride gathering last Wednesday. At right, White House photo of First Lady Grace Coolidge holding a raccoon, which Balint said is ‘a good omen.’ Both photos Becca Balint campaign Facebook page.
By Guy Page
Sen. Becca Balint tested negative for Covid-19 before attending last Wednesday’s Pride event at the White House, but has since tested positive, she announced Monday morning.
“Today I tested positive for COVID. I tested negative before attending the Pride celebration at the White House last Wednesday. I started to feel cold-like symptoms last night. I am grateful for the protection of my vaccination and both boosters,” Balint said on Twitter at 10:04 AM Monday morning. “I will be isolating at home this week and following the recommendations of my doctor.”
Balint did not specifically claim that she contracted the disease at Wednesday’s Pride event, which was attended by Pres. Biden and a large crowd of politicians and activists from around the country. Photos posted by Balint’s campaign show almost everyone, including Biden and Balint, not wearing masks.
Biden tested negative on Thursday, but National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan tested positive on Saturday. It is not known whether he attended the Pride event. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland tested positive June 2. Balint’s FB photos include two of her and Haaland together.
Apart from possibly catching Covid there, attending the event was a great experience for Balint, who is Vermont’s first gay Senate Pro Tem and is seeking to become the state’s first woman and gay member of Congress.
“What an unbelievable honor to be a part of the #pridemonth celebration The White House yesterday,” Balint enthused on her campaign Facebook page. “Surreal. I cannot believe it. So amazing to see President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris. Together & United We Can Do So Much., Pete Buttigieg, Tammy Baldwin, David N. Cicilline, Mark Takano, and Deb Haaland. What an amazing message for LGBTQ kids that our President is celebrating pride in the Whitehouse, celebrating all people, love, and kindness.
“And be sure to check out the last pic of presidents and First Ladies with their pets! Note that First Lady Coolidge of Vermont has a raccoon!! We think it’s a good omen! Vermont is amazing.”
Biden’s remarks praised current activists and highlighted his deceased son Beau’s championing of LGBTQ rights while the Delaware Attorney General. However, his claim to having more gay workers in his administration than all previous administrations combined drew somewhat unexpected laughter from the audience, the White House transcript shows:
“I think we have more LGBTQ+ people than any administration or every administration combined in the pa- — (laughter) — no, I really mean it. (Applause.) I truly mean it.”