Coronavirus: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tests positive for breakthrough COVID-19 case

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has tested positive for COVID-19, he confirmed in a statement issued Sunday evening.

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Austin stated that he requested the test Sunday morning after exhibiting symptoms while “on leave” at home.

Austin, who is fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, described his symptoms as “mild” and confirmed that he plans to quarantine at home for the next five days per current CDC guidance.

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Austin also confirmed that he has not been in contact with President Joe Biden since Dec. 21, more than a week before he began exhibiting symptoms.

Cumulative U.S. COVID-19 cases surpassed 55 million on Sunday, including nearly 6 million new cases reported within the past 28 days, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.

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