US Health Secy again tests Covid positive in less than a month

by IANS |

Washington, June 14 (IANS) US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra has tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time in less than a month.

Becerra took an antigen test on Monday morning and the result was positive, Xinhua news agency quoted HHS spokesperson Sarah Lovenheim as saying in a statement.

"He is fully vaccinated and boosted against Covid-19, and is experiencing mild symptoms. He will continue to perform his duties as HHS Secretary, working in isolation," she added.

Becerra, 64, had previously tested positive for Covid-19 in mid-May during a trip to Berlin.

Last week, he was in Los Angeles, California to attend the Summit of the Americas hosted by the US with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in attendance.

The HHS said he is not considered a close contact of either Biden or Harris as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Becerra is the latest in President Joe Biden's administration to test positive for Covid-19 in recent months.

On June 6, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced he had contracted the virus, while Interior Secretary Deb Haaland confirmed her positive result on June 1.

CIA chief William Burns and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also tested positive earlier this year.

Covid-19 cases are again increasing across the US, according to the CDC.

As of Tuesday, the country's Covid caseload and death toll stood at 87,424,846 and 1,036,084, respectively.

The two tallies are the highest in the world, making the US the worst-hit country by the pandemic.

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