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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin gets COVID-19 a second time

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, shown last week, is experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms and will quarantine for the next five days.
(Roman Koksarov / Associated Press)

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Monday he has tested positive for the coronavirus, is experiencing mild symptoms and will quarantine at home. It’s the second time Austin has gotten COVID-19.

In a statement, Austin, 69, said he is fully vaccinated and has received two boosters. He said he’ll quarantine for the next five days in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and “will retain all authorities and plan to maintain my normal work schedule virtually from home.”

Austin said his last in-person contact with President Biden was on July 29.

In January, Austin also contracted COVID after receiving a booster in October.

“Now, as in January, 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,” Austin said. “I will continue to consult closely with my doctor in the coming days.”

He added: “Vaccinations continue to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and to 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.”


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