Washington: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday announced he has tested COVID-19 positive.
" I tested positive this morning for COVID-19. I requested the test today after exhibiting symptoms while at home on leave," he said in a statement.
He said his symptoms are mild.
" In keeping with those directions, and in accordance with CDC guidelines, I will quarantine myself at home for the next five days," he said.
" 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," he said.
He specified that the last time he met with US President Joe Biden was on December 21st and the last time he visited the Pentagon was on Thursday.
" My last meeting with President Biden occurred on Tuesday, December 21st, more than a week before I began to experience symptoms. I tested negative that very morning. I have not been in the Pentagon since Thursday, where I met briefly - and only - with a few members of my staff. We were properly masked and socially distanced throughout," Austin said.
Austin said he received a booster dose against COVID-19 in October.