US Secy of State Pompeo to quarantine after contact with Covid-positive person

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Dec 17, 2020, 08:34 AM(IST)

Mike Pompeo Photograph:( Reuters )

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Pompeo did not attend President Donald Trump's cabinet meeting at the White House which took place earlier on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be quarantining after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. He although had tested negative, the US State Department said on Wednesday.

"Secretary Pompeo has been identified as having come into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. For reasons of privacy we can’t identify that individual," a spokesperson for the State Department said.

"The secretary has been tested and is negative. In accordance with CDC guidelines, he will be in quarantine. He is being closely monitored by the department’s medical team."

Pompeo did not attend President Donald Trump's cabinet meeting at the White House which took place earlier on Wednesday.

Diplomats said the State Department cancelled a holiday reception for the foreign missions in Washington that was due to take place later on Wednesday.

Pompeo has come under criticism for going ahead with the planning of several holiday parties, defying guidelines from US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which describes large in-person gatherings as "highest risk" for the spread of the disease.

The United States has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus, with confirmed cases over 16.7 million and deaths over 305,000. Many states recently tightened their restrictions due to a rise in the cases.

President Donald Trump and his administration have been widely criticised for their consistently lax approach to mask-wearing and social distancing at the White House. Critics say his handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been among the top reasons why he lost his November 3 re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden, due to take office on January 20.

Trump himself was diagnosed with COVID-19 in October, while a large number of his staff, including some of his closest aides, also tested positive and later recovered.

Also, Washington Post reported that Pompeo cancelled a speech he was due to give at another indoor holiday party that took place late on Tuesday and whose invites had been sent out to 900 people, drawing wide criticism.

(with inputs)

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