U.S. Defense Secretary Austin tests positive for COVID-19, symptoms mild

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday with mild symptoms, but would retain all authorities as he quarantined at home for the next five days. Austin, who is vaccinated and has received a booster, said in a statement he last met President Joe Biden on Dec. 21, more than a week before he started experiencing symptoms.


Reuters | Updated: 03-01-2022 06:39 IST | Created: 03-01-2022 06:39 IST
U.S. Defense Secretary Austin tests positive for COVID-19, symptoms mild

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday with mild symptoms, but would retain all authorities as he quarantined at home for the next five days.

Austin, who is vaccinated and has received a booster, said in a statement he last met President Joe Biden on Dec. 21, more than a week before he started experiencing symptoms. "As my doctor made clear to me, my fully vaccinated status — and the booster I received in early October — have rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been," Austin added.

Austin said he requested a test earlier on Sunday after having symptoms while at home on vacation. The rapid spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has led to a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections.

U.S. authorities registered at least 346,869 new coronavirus on Saturday, according to a Reuters tally. The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 rose by at least 377 to 828,562. "To the degree possible, I plan to attend virtually this coming week those key meetings and discussions required to inform my situational awareness and decision making. I will retain all authorities," Austin said.

He added that his deputy, Kathleen Hicks, would represent him in some matters.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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