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US Secretary of Defense Austin tests positive for COVID

"I tested positive this morning for COVID-19. I requested the test today after exhibiting symptoms while at home on leave," Austin said on Sunday, adding that his "symptoms are mild."

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Washington: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has contracted the coronavirus and will remain quarantined at home for at least five days, he said in a statement released by the US Department of Defense.

“I tested positive this morning for COVID-19. I requested the test today after exhibiting symptoms while at home on leave,” Austin said on Sunday, adding that his “symptoms are mild.”

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The Pentagon chief said that he was going to attend upcoming key meetings virtually.

“…I will quarantine myself at home for the next five days,” Austin 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.

The Pentagon chief had been vaccinated and got the booster shot in October.

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