HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra tests positive for the virus — again
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra has tested positive for the coronavirus for the second time in less than a month, his agency said Monday.
Mr. Becerra tested positive on an antigen test while in Sacramento, California, and is experiencing mild symptoms, according to HHS.
The positive test is notable because Mr. Becerra, who is vaccinated and boosted, returned a positive test while traveling in Germany in mid-May.
It is also notable because the secretary oversees agencies charged with responding to the pandemic.
Mr. Becerra has kept up a busy travel schedule as of late, including regular trips to welcome “Operation Fly Formula” flights that are delivering shipments of baby formula to combat a nationwide shortage.
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Sarah Lovenheim said Mr. Becerra is not a “close contact” of President Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which describes a contact as someone who had been within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.
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“The secretary remains engaged with the duties of his office from isolation, and is eager to return to in-person meetings, as quickly as possible,” Ms. Lovenheim said.
Top aides to Mr. Biden have tested positive for the virus but Mr. Biden, who is tested regularly, hasn’t caught it yet, according to the White House.
The White House has said it puts several precautions around the 79-year-old president, including regular testing of anyone who meets with him and physical distancing and mask-wearing in many staff meetings.