Pentagon chief Austin says he tested positive for COVID | New policies

WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Sunday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was showing mild symptoms during home quarantine.

In a statement on Sunday evening, Austin said he plans to attend key meetings and discussions virtually over the coming week “as far as possible.” He said Assistant Secretary Kathleen Hicks would represent him in appropriate cases.

Austin said he last met President Joe Biden on December 21, more than a week before he started to experience symptoms, and that he tested negative on the morning of that day- the.

“I have informed my management team of my positive test result, as well as the President,” Austin said. “My staff have started tracing contacts and testing everyone I have come in contact with over the past week.”

Austin, 68, said he was fully vaccinated and received a booster in October. He said he requested a test on Sunday morning after experiencing symptoms while at home on leave and, given the result, planned to remain in quarantine for five days, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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“Vaccines work and will remain a military medical requirement for our workforce. I continue to encourage everyone who is eligible for a booster shot to get one. It remains a problem of preparation, ”he said.

In October, another member of Biden’s cabinet, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, tested positive for COVID-19.

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