US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tests positive for Covid, experiences mild symptoms

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Jan 03, 2022, 07:49 AM(IST)

File photo of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Photograph:( Reuters )

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US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has tested positive for Covid. The leader is experiencing mild symptoms and has been quarantining at home. The development is one of the Biden administration’s most high-profile breakthrough coronavirus infections. He was fully vaccinated and also received a booster dose in October

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has tested positive for Covid. The leader is experiencing mild symptoms and has been quarantining at home.  

In a statement on Sunday night, 68-year-old Austin said that he plans to attend key meetings and discussions virtually in the coming week 'to the degree possible’.  

"I have informed my leadership team of my positive test result, as well as the President," Austin said.  

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"My staff has begun contact tracing and testing of all those with whom I have come into contact over the last week," Austin added.  

The development is one of the Biden administration’s most high-profile breakthrough coronavirus infections.  

He said that he was fully vaccinated and also received a booster dose in October.  

"The vaccines work and will remain a military medical requirement for our workforce. I continue to encourage everyone eligible for a booster shot to get one. This remains a readiness issue," the defense secretary said.  

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Earlier, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had contracted COVID-19. Psaki had said that a family member had tested positive for the coronavirus, and her report also came positive later.    

In a statement, she had written, "Thanks to the vaccine, I have only experienced mild symptoms, which has enabled me to continue working from home.  

"I will plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of the 10-day quarantine following a negative rapid test, which is an additional White House requirement, beyond CDC guidance, taken out of an abundance of caution," Psaki added.   

(With inputs from agencies)

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