U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Sunday said he has tested positive for Covid-19, a development that comes just days after the Pentagon moved to tighten restrictions as the highly infectious omicron variant drives a surge in new cases across the U.S.

Key Facts

In a series of posts on Twitter, Austin announced that he tested positive on Sunday morning and is currently experiencing mild symptoms.

The Pentagon chief said he will be quarantining himself at home for the next five days and plans to virtually attend key meetings “to the degree possible.”

Austin said in his absence Deputy Secretary Kathleen Hicks would represent him in appropriate matters.

Austin added that he last met with the President on December 21, a week before his symptoms emerged, and had tested negative on that day.

The defense secretary said he is fully vaccinated and also received a booster shot in October

Crucial Quote

Austin noted that his fully vaccinated status—including the booster— “have rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been.” He added: “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”

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Source: Forbes

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