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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin tests COVID positive; in quarantine for 5 days

Austin specified that the last time he met with US President Joe Biden was on December 21 and the last time he visited the Pentagon was on Thursday.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: January 03, 2022 10:38 IST
Lloyd Austin tests COVID positive
Image Source : AP

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stands during an honor cordon upon his arrival at the Pentagon in Washington


  • Lloyd Austin has said he has mild symptoms and will remain in quarantine for next 5 days
  • Austin said all meetings in coming days will be taken up virtually
  • Contact tracing with respect to Lloyd has already begun

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he has tested positive for COVID-19. In a series of posts on Twitter, Austin said he was experiencing mild symptoms while quarantining at home. Further, Austin said he plans to attend key meetings and discussions virtually in the coming week “to the degree possible.” 

He said Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks would represent him in appropriate matters.

According to Austin's statement, he had met US President Joe Biden on December 21, more than a week before he began to experience symptoms, and had tested negative the morning of that day.

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

“My staff has begun contact tracing and testing of all those with whom I have come into contact over the last week.”

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

“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,” he said.

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

(With inputs from AP)

Also Read | US CDC shortens isolation, quarantine period for COVID-positive people

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