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Joint Chiefs Chair Mark Milley tests positive for Covid

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Gen. Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has tested positive for Covid, according to his spokesperson, just days after being in contact with President Joe Biden.

Milley, who attended Gen. Raymond Odierno’s funeral on Jan. 12 with Biden, tested negative every day leading up to Sunday’s positive test, a statement said. He is working remotely and isolating after he tested positive on Sunday.

“He is experiencing very minor symptoms and can perform all of his duties from the remote location,” Col. Dave Butler, the Joint Chiefs spokesperson, said in the statement issued Monday. “He has received the COVID-19 vaccines including the booster.”

The statement also noted that all the other joint chiefs, except for one, had tested negative. The other positive test was Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger, a Marine Corps spokesperson, Maj. James Stenger, confirmed to POLITICO.

“The performance of his duties will remain unaffected,” Stenger said.

The latest positives among high-ranking Pentagon officials come after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin contracted the virus earlier this month. Austin, who also reported mild symptoms, has recovered.

The military has seen a sharp uptick in cases since the holiday season. The Defense Department reported about 33,000 Covid infections across the military as of Wednesday, roughly 2.5 times the number of cases the prior week.

Biden was also exposed in December, when he came in contact with a White House official who later tested positive for Covid. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has noted multiple times that the president is tested regularly. Biden is fully vaccinated and received his booster dose in September.

The White House on Monday did not immediately respond to to a request for comment about when the president was last tested.

As the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus surges in the U.S., Psaki has acknowledged an increase in cases in the White House and in other government agencies. A number of public officials have announced positive cases in recent weeks.

The White House has limited the size of gatherings and has continued to test anyone who will be in close contact with Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris, Psaki said last week. The White House Correspondents’ Association has also temporarily reduced capacity in the White House briefing room to 14 journalists because of rising cases.

Paul McLeary contributed to this report


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