- Lloyd Austin said he was experiencing mild symptoms
- In January also, Austin had contracted COVID and had received a booster in October
- “I will continue to consult closely with my doctor in the coming days," Austin said
Lloyd Austin on Monday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. The Defense Secretary of the United States said he is presently experiencing mild symptoms and will quarantine at home.
In a statement, Austin, 69, said his is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. He said he'll quarantine for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines and “will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home.”
Austin said his last in-person contact with President Joe Biden was on July 29.
In January also, Austin contracted COVID and had received a booster in October.
“Now, as in January, my doctor told me that my fully vaccinated status, including two booster shots, is why my symptoms are less severe than would otherwise be the case,” Austin said.
“I will continue to consult closely with my doctor in the coming days," he added.
"Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and to make its health effects less severe. Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted," Austin said.
Joe Biden's COVID-19 history
US President Joe Biden originally tested positive on July 21 and began taking the anti-viral medication Paxlovid, which is intended to decrease the likelihood of serious illness from the virus.
According to his doctor, Biden's vital signs remained normal throughout his infection, but he his symptoms included a runny nose, cough, sore throat and body aches.
After isolating for several days, Biden tested negative on July 26. On July 27, he gave a speech in the Rose Garden, telling Americans they can “live without fear" of the virus if they get booster shots, test themselves for the virus if they become sick and seek out treatments.
However, the US president caught a rare rebound case of COVID-19 on July 30, forcing him to isolate again.
He finally tested negative after some days of isolation.
(With inputs from AP)