CIA director tests positive for COVID-19
CIA Director William Burns announced on Thursday that he tested positive for a COVID-19, a breakthrough case, one day after meeting with President Biden.
However, the CIA said Biden is not considered a close contact as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), noting that the Wednesday meeting was socially distanced and that Burns was wearing an N-95 mask.
Burns, who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot, is experiencing mild symptoms. A routine PCR test revealed his positive diagnosis.
The director will work from home and isolate for five days, and plans to return to the office once he receives a negative test result. The agency said he is “fully engaged from home.”
In a statement, Burns said, “I look forward to returning to the office as soon as possible.”
The CIA director is the latest individual close to Biden to test positive for COVID-19. White House press secretary Jen Psaki and her deputy, Karine Jean-Pierre, both contracted the virus. Psaki received her diagnosis before the president’s trip to Europe, and Jean-Pierre tested positive after returning from the Europe visit.
Biden received his second booster shot on Wednesday, one day after the jab was authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for his age group. Individuals aged 50 and older are now permitted to receive a second booster shot four months or more after receiving the first booster.
The number of daily new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has been on the decline in recent weeks, according to data collected by the CDC, after spiking in January largely because of the highly infectious omicron variant. Deaths in the U.S. are also trending downward.