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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at a NATO Defense Ministers meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, October 21, 2021.

REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin requested a COVID-19 test after exhibiting symptoms on Sunday. 
  • Austin says he’s following CDC guidelines and isolating for five days. 
  • He last met with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, December 21st, before showing symptoms.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild symptoms on Sunday. 

Austin said he requested a COVID-19 test after showing symptoms while he was at home on leave. 

He said he plans to isolate himself for five days, in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“I have informed my leadership team of my positive test result, as well as the President. My staff has begun contact tracing and testing of all those with whom I have come into contact over the last week,” Austin said.

He said he last met with President Joe Biden on Tuesday, December 21st, over a week before he started having symptoms. 

Austin said he was fully vaccinated and received a booster dose in October. 

“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. 

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