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Defense Secretary Austin tests positive for COVID for second time this year

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus for the second time this year, despite being fully vaccinated and receiving multiple booster shots.

The 69-year-old defense secretary said in a statement Monday that he is experiencing “mild symptoms” after testing positive. He will remain at home for the next five days in accordance with CDC guidelines, Pentagon officials said.

“I will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home,” Mr. Austin said.

His last contact with President Biden was on July 29, 2022.

“My doctor told me that my fully vaccinated status, including two booster shots, is why my symptoms are less severe than would otherwise be the case,” Mr. Austin said. “I will continue to consult closely with my doctor in the coming days.”

The defense secretary previously tested positive on Jan. 2, 2022, after exhibiting symptoms while at home on leave.

 

In his statement Monday, Mr. Austin said vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of the Coronavirus and make its health effects less severe.

“Vaccination remains a medical requirement for our workforce, and I continue to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated and boosted,” he said.

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