Vice President Kamala Harris is requiring senators, their families, and their guests over two years old to provide a negative COVID-19 test in order to take swearing-in photos with the vice president.
A GOP source confirmed to Fox News Digital the COVID test requirement for new and incoming senators who want to get their traditional photo op with Harris in the Old Senate Chambers.
The senators, both new and returning, their spouses, and any guest over two years old must provide a negative COVID-19 test 24 hours before the photo op, regardless of vaccination status.
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A GOP source confirmed to Fox News Digital the COVID test requirement for new and incoming senators who want to get their traditional photo op with VP Kamala Harris in the Old Senate Chambers.
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
“We look forward to welcoming your Senator on January 3, 2023, to the ceremonial reenactment for incoming and newly re-elected Senators in the Old Senate Chamber,” Grisella Martinez, Harris’ director of legislative affairs, wrote in an email to Senate offices.
“As you are aware, White House COVID-19 protocols require that anyone over two-years of age who will interact with the Vice President take a medically-administered antigen test within 24 hours prior to interaction, and receive a negative result,” she continued. “This policy applies regardless of vaccination status.”
The move has been met with conservative backlash, with newly-minted Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin, a Republican, telling reporters on Tuesday he and his family were refusing to attend the photo op with Harris.
The move has been met with conservative backlash, with newly-minted Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin, a Republican, telling reporters on Tuesday he and his family were skipping the ceremony and group photo with Harris.
(Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS)
Mullin said that “COVID just exists for those who are in the bubble” and that his family has things to do back in Oklahoma, such as going to school and a wrestling tournament. The senator said he didn’t want a false positive on a COVID test to unnecessarily complicate things when going back to Oklahoma.
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“I don’t really care about a picture with Kamala Harris,” Mullin added.
Harris’ office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.