WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Kamala Harris will virtually meet leaders of 15 Caribbean nations on Friday and continue her work engagements from home after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
On Thursday, a White House official said Harris remained asymptomatic, made calls to members of Congress and had several staff meetings. She was also prescribed and has taken antiviral drug Paxlovid after consultation with her physicians, the White House has previously said.
During Friday’s meeting, Harris and leaders from the Caribbean nations will discuss economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, address the climate crisis and transition to clean energy, along with strengthening security throughout the region, a senior administration official said.
Countries participating in the meeting include Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago among others.
Harris has previously met with leaders of Jamaica and Barbados at the White House. She noted her Jamaican descent and trips to the island in her childhood during her meeting with the Jamaican Prime Minister in March.
Many Caribbean nations were divided over how to relate to the United States during the Trump administration, and expressed frustration that Washington often views relations with them through the prism of other geopolitical rivalries with countries such as China, obscuring the many specific needs of the Caribbean.
They have, however, maintained close ties with the United States since and offered their support for U.S. leadership on issues such as the climate crisis.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski)