|File photo: NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels|
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Sunday that he tested positive for COVID-19 and developed mild symptoms during home isolation.
In a statement on Sunday night, Austin stated that he plans to “as much as possible” attend key meetings and discussions next week. He said that Secretary of State Catherine Hicks will handle related matters on his behalf.
Austin said that his last meeting with President Joe Biden was on December 21, more than a week before he started showing symptoms, and the test came back negative that morning. “As the president, I also informed my management team of my positive test results,” Austin said. My colleagues have started tracking and testing everyone I have contacted in the past week.
Austin, 68, said he was fully vaccinated and received a booster shot in October. He said that after he developed symptoms at home during the vacation, he asked for testing on Sunday morning and planned to quarantine for five days in accordance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Vaccines are effective and will continue to be the military medical needs of our workforce. I continue to encourage anyone who is eligible for booster vaccination. This is still a matter of preparation,” he said.
Another member of the Biden cabinet, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (Alejandro Mayorkas) tested positive for COVID-19 in October.
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