United States

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tests positive for COVID-19

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced on Sunday night that he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day.

Austin, who said he is experiencing mild symptoms, will quarantine at home for five days.

The defense secretary will “retain all authorities” during the isolation period – and plans to attend key meetings virtually, he said in a statement.

Personnel who came into contact with Austin over the past week will be contacted and tested.

Austin was briefly at the Pentagon last Thursday with a small group of staffers and his last meeting with President Biden was Dec. 21 – over a week before his symptoms began, according to the statement.

“As my doctor made clear to me, my fully vaccinated status — and the booster I received in early October — have rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been,” Austin said.

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