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